Thursday, February 18, 2010

Counting Calories- Can We Count What We Don't Know?

The Journal of the American Dietic Association (January 2010) noted a study of 10 chain restaurants which found 29 meals and or other menu items with listed calories being on average 18% higher than listed.  Frozen supermarket meals had 8% more calories than listed.  Even the Food and Drug Administration allow a 20% error when listing calories.

It is unfortunate that there is such a discrepancy.  In a study conducted by Dr. Pooja Tandon, a pediatrician at the University of Washington, most parents will choose a fast food meal with less calories for their children if the calories are listed.  An extra 100 calories per day for adults can lead to 10 extra pounds a year.  With obesity on the rise in children and adults, people need to factor in the calorie label distortions.  It is safe to assume that most calorie listings are on the low side and actually contain more calories.  Ultimately, we have to be careful about our total caloric intake because it is our health and our body.

Stay healthy & well,

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