There is more writing on packages of food now than ever and even the most seasoned of lable readers are getting frustrated.
It's time to clean up our lables and I say we start with the useless and often misleading information. For example:
A nutrition claim on a lable is any statement linking that particular food to a nutrient found in that food with a health benefit. For example:
"A diet high in fibre is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease"
"A high intake of calcium is associated with reduced risks of ostoespororsis"
The problem I have with these claims is that often they are not based on sound science. Many companies will latch on to the first study that comes along that they can use that proves the health benefit of their product. The problem is, it's often a few or just one study, often not well done and the even if it is well done, the conclusions by the researcher of the study are usually mild at best and call for more research.
What are some examples of this?
How about probiotics and immune function? The research on that is very inconclusive, yet I've seen it posted on a number of yogurt containers. I believe Danone is actually getting sued over this in a class action law suit right now.
How about Froot Loops having nutrition claims for fibre on it's packaging. I'm sure most people can look at a box of fruit loops and figure out that sugary neon colored O's probably aren't the most nutritious food source, yet because the froot loops have a whole 2 grams of fibre, they can use the claim.
My suggestion is just ignore these claims. They don't tell you anything and are just there to manipulate you into buying the product. Nutrition facts panels and ingredient lists while still complicated are much more reliable.