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Food Labels - Do They Tell The Truth?

Feb 29, 2008
Products are produced and marketed by manufacturers to make profit. And this is not profound statement that I have discovered from anywhere but a well known fact. Prior to the last twenty years manufacturers were not questioned as to the contents and ingredients of the food products that they produced and packed. But in the last twenty years people have become extremely health conscious and aware and have begun to question what really goes inside the processed foods that seem to taste so good.

In fact most of these consumers were surprised to learn that the amount of sugar that was added to cereals did more harm to their teeth and did not really provide the nutrition that it blatantly and shamelessly claimed.The trends in the health zone were assessed by the cunning companies and then started claims of low sodium, low GI, sugar free and fat free. But one does not really know yet, whether these claims are genuine or not.

The fact of the matter remains that there is no way by which a consumer can test the levels of fat in (say) a bottle of mayonnaise or cheese spread.

Though the Food and Drug Administration dictates that any such health claim needs to be backed by robust proof, it is the FDA cannot check each and every batch of food products that is produced by all companies since the process requires manpower and laboriously picking up samples from the market. The manufacturing companies tend to take advantage of this situation and relax their error margins allowed in the formulations and equipment.

One other way in which these companies try and cheat the consumer is by slimily providing lower quantities in packages that visually look larger. It is not uncommon or foolish to assume that a pack of snack cake or candy bar will contain one serving. However, the actual size of the product inside merits only about half a serving.

The information provided on the food label could be for any serving size that the company chooses. Whether this serving size used to tabulate the ingredients and their quantities is more than the actual content or less depends on whether the company wants to create a perception of higher vitamin or calcium content or whether they want to make a claim of low fat or low calories.

The lesson to learn from all that has been mentioned above, is that while buying we should read between the lines and make sure to read the fine print and understand what we are purchasing rather than fall prey to the perception that the manufacturer wants to create.

It may not matter if you ingest a few calories more or less but false information on a diabetic product may create a huge difference in the metabolism of a diabetic causing sudden increases or decreases in blood sugar levels.

So, make sure that you are an aware, wary and skeptical customer when you go out shopping
About the Author
To find more tips and information about food labelling visit http://food-site.com
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