I know I’m not the only one out there who is tired of the serving sizes food producers put on their packaging. It’s so exciting to see my favorite cereal with the little marshmallows is only 110 calories per serving. That is, until I see that I can only eat 3/4 of a Cup in order to keep myself at 110 calories. Who eats that little as a serving?
For those interested, the FDA has an opinion similar to mine regarding serving sizes and the reality of what we eat as opposed to what is supposedly recommended.
So why haven’t companies already made the changes? Why is it taking the FDA and First Lady Michelle Obama to get these labels changed?
My theory is simple and perhaps it’s obvious to others and I’m just late to the game, but food looks desirable if it appears the calories are low. Having a cereal that is just barely over 100 calories sure looks better than what I’m really eating which is closer to 300 calories and that’s not even including the calories from the milk. It also makes it seem that a box of cereal will last much longer when the servings per container are 16 instead of the paltry 8 or less. Perhaps we consumers would be less likely to fork over our $3.50 to $4.00 per box if we knew we’re really going to get 5-8 meals out of that box instead of the 16 claimed.
Am I being a bit petty here? Perhaps. It’s quite possible that everyone in the world knows better and knows that you need to calculate your actual consumption before you buy a box of cereal or whatever other food you’re buying, but I’m quite certain I’m not wrong. Too often I’ve bought a food solely because I saw the calories or fat were lower than their leading competitor all to find out, their serving size was slightly smaller, thus, they either equaled or even surpassed their competition in calories, fat, sugar or other not so positive nutritional items.
So as day 51 of my weight loss challenge comes and goes, I leave everyone with this bit of knowledge/advice. When you’re shopping for food, be realistic. Don’t go solely based on the label, but be honest, and determine how big your serving really is and will be. Trust me, if you’re literally going to only eat the recommended serving size for everything, you’re going to be at 1,000 calories per day like I was for a while and it’s not fun.
Tell me, what are some of the most deceiving nutrition labels you’ve come across? I find cereal labels to be some of the most deceiving.