Hopefully you’ve decided to take part in the BGG2WL calorie counting challenge. Read the nutrition labels. Measure your portions. We’re not changing our habits, we’re just trying to get a good idea of ​​how our current habits affect our goals. This is amazing.But now I have to deal with something less extraordinary. FDA. For those of us who count calories, this is interesting.

I really don’t have the words to express it. But trust me.. They arrive. For those of you who may not be able to watch the video, a transcript is below (provided by The Today Show website). Just unbelievable. Matt Lauer: This morning on RESEARCH TODAY to reveal the truth behind health food labels.Do you really believe these fat and calorie numbers? NBC’s Jeff Rossen wanted to find out.

I have a feeling this is bad news, Jeff. Good morning JEFF ROSSEN Registration: No.And we brought them to show you. LAUER: Very good. ROSSEN: You know, a lot of us are on diets and one of us is lying on the couch right now. We’ll let you guess which one. And that’s why we buy these frozen meals.They initially make sales more difficult. I’m sure you’ve seen it, with the low calorie and fat levels. So we took her to the lab and ran our tests.

This morning we’re going to separate the fat from the fiction. In the fight for the majority, these companies claim to have a secret weapon. ROSSEN: They brag about being low fat and low calorie, knowing that consumers eat these things. How important are these numbers to you? Unknown woman n. 1: You are important. Unidentified Man: And I’m just looking at it. First of all, before the price. Unknown woman n. 2: People don’t buy it because it tastes good. They buy it because it has calories. And that’s what they’re looking for. And they say… ROSSEN: So if you exclude calories and fat? Woman n. 2: Yes, so what’s the problem?


ROSSEN: Exactly. So we purchased meals from major healthy food brands: Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers’ Smart Ones, and Healthy Choice. We took the meals out of the packaging, put them in specially marked bags, and then shipped them here to ESL, a large food laboratory. The scientists examined each sample to determine its fat and calorie content. Do the numbers actually match the labels?We found it was all over the map. Some were actually lower.

Healthy Choice Roasted Beef Merlot, 17 percent less fat compared to the label. Lean Cuisine’s Grilled Chicken Primavera, 19 percent fewer calories than the label. And the rosemary Chicken, 60 percent less fat.But don’t start binging yet. Our tests showed many meals were packaged with higher numbers. Smart Ones Shrimp Marinara had ten percent more calories than the label.

Healthy Choice Lobster Cheese Ravioli, 17 percent more fat than the label. And that Lean Cuisine Chicken Primavera?20% more fat. But the biggest broken belly of all? Smart Ones Sweet and Sour Chicken. It advertises 210 calories and two grams of fat. We found that it actually contains 11% more calories and 350% more fat.Although the company was “skeptical” of our findings, it has now initiated an internal audit. Ms. SUSAN ROBERTS, PHD (Tufts University): All you have to do is cry. I mean, it’s shameful. ROSSEN: Susan Roberts should know.As a respected food scientist, she has conducted similar tests in her lab and, like us, discovered misleading labels. Ms. ROBERTS: We often hear that people don’t lose weight.

They remain. They don’t understand why they eat almost nothing and don’t lose weight.Here’s one explanation. ROSSEN: You may be outraged by this, but the government isn’t. In many cases, under the law it’s perfectly OK. Believe it or not, FDA regulations allow food companies to be as much as 20 percent off on their labels. Unidentified Woman #3:

That’s unfortunate, and especially at the same time when they’re preaching to us about obesity. ROSSEN: The government gives these companies a 20% discount on their label. Unknown woman n. 3: Why? ROSSEN: Good question. The FDA declined our request for an interview, so we reached out to a group that represents food companies. Isn’t that misleading? Mr ROBERT BRACKETT (Food Manufacturers’ Association): No, it is not misleading at all. This may be something that consumers don’t necessarily understand. And it’s nice to explain them. ROSSEN: He says these labels are just an average.Companies crunch the numbers by testing a dozen meals and then averaging them. Portions vary, so it is said that no meal can be exact. Why not be transparent on the label and say it’s not necessarily 230 calories, but the average? That’s about 230 calories.


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