Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Truth in Labeling

Realistic Nutrition Readings
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For years, the US Government has tried to make food labels accurate. They've increased the visibility of ingredients. They have warning labels when something contains saccharine, nutrasweel, or alcohol. They've enlarged labels so that people can see what portions of an individual's USRDA the food contains.

However, that's a real zinger. The portions.

How many people do you know that eat one piece of pizza? Or a two-square inch block of lasagna? Half a package of ramen or a 20 oz. bottle of soda?

My suggestion: Rather than make some asanine assumption as to what a "portion" of a given food product is, or passively try to influence people to eat a thimble sized portion, food labels should contain realistic caloric/fat/cholesterol intake measurements, based on the packaging, and based on what the average joe would actually consume.

None of this "130 calories a serving" on the side of a soda that contains "2.5 servings". That's just hiding the truth in pretty packages; I have a feeling that most people don't/won't reduce their intake just because they see the measurements and decide to consume within those guidelines.

Rather, I think that if people read the labels, saw accurate measurements ("What? A plate of macaroni and cheese has /how many/ calories??"), they might reduce their intake that way.

You think I'm kidding? Read the side of your Kraft Mac and Cheese -- when's the last time you ate a mere "2.5 oz" of that stuff? Not to mention the rest of your meal...

cswiii, Jul 19 2001

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       At the bottom of nutrition info, they sometimes have the percents in two columns, one based on a 2000 calorie diet, the other based on 3000. You could do that for the portions (have the info for a suggested serving, and if you eat like a normal person) In case people don't want to do the math.
MuddDog, Jul 19 2001
  

       I agree with this idea completely. You get a croissant from me, which is what, 2.5 servings?
nathandrea, Jul 20 2001
  

       "serves 4 - but only if they are dwarves"
RobertKidney, Jul 20 2001
  

       unabubba: it's times like this that i wish we could vote on annotations. it was all i could do keep from laughing out loud, not a good thing when your'e sulking in your cubicle. :o) well done!
mihali, Jul 20 2001
  

       Your boss says, "Try not to think of it as sitting in your cubicle; think of it as retiring late".   

       My vote in the Best Language for Specific Advertising -- Adaptations category goes to the use of fertilizer tridigital nomenclature (N00-P00-K00) on candy, as in P40-C35-F25 "performance" bars.
reensure, Jul 20 2001
  

       Ah, but no producer wants to tell the complete truth about thier product, because frankly they don't know it. The people who come up with the serving sizes are the Legal and Compliance people who, surprisingly enough, run on electricity, and cheap beer   

       Portion sizes are based on a quota given to them by an outside consultant.   

       If these people were forced to print exactly what is in thier products then they would come up with some other way to blur the message. Like printing it in script or in Chinese.
AntHill, Jul 20 2001
  

       AntHill: Sure, but it's a balance--we try to get 'them' to tell us what the hell is in the stuff they're selling, and 'they' try to hide the information. If we just let 'em slide, we lose. Gotta keep pushing. So a big butter-drenched pastry for cswiii.
Dog Ed, Jul 21 2001
  

       I second PeterSealy's motion for package totals. That way I can calculate protein unit price from two numbers instead of three.
LoriZ, Sep 11 2001
  

       I LOVE THE IDEA, BUT THE PRODUCTS WOULD NEVER SELL LIKE THEY DO NOW BECAUSE PEOPLE WOULD KNOW THE "REAL" TRUTH ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE EATING. (SAME THING WITH TIGARETTE LABELS) ON THE OTHER HAND, WHAT WE SEE NOW ON PRODUCTS IS A BIT MISLEADING AND I THINK THAT'S WHY OBESITY IS SO COMMON AND GYM MEMBERSHIPS ARE SELLING LIKE CRAZY!! PERSONALLY, I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW FAT I'M GOING TO BE TOMOROW! WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK?
irinel, Jan 30 2004
  
      
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