Why? Because it tastes good!
According to CNN, 80 percent of Americans claim they check the labels on the food they buy – looking for no-nos, like fat, calories and sugar. But even when the label practically screams “Don’t eat me!” half of them admit they drop the package into their cart anyway.
Here’s what else the survey uncovered:
• Women are 15 percent more likely to check labels than men, and to think the nutritional content is important.
• Married men are more likely to check labels than unmarried men.
• And people between 18 and 30 are more likely to look at calories. Even so, 60 percent of them admit they buy and eat foods that are bad for them even after they check the label.
So, why do people bother to read labels at all? It’s not to lose weight, according to Robert Blendon, professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health. He says most label readers who actually use the information are either diabetics trying to avoid sugar, or people with high blood pressure trying to steer clear of sodium.
Professor Blendon suggests that if food manufacturers really wanted to help people lose weight, they’d print labels with the number of calories in the entire package. Instead, labels list calories per serving, leaving shoppers to do the math. For example, a pint container of ice cream may say 260 calories per serving. But if you scarf down the whole carton, that’s 4 servings – and over 1,000 calories. About half the calories most people are supposed to eat in an entire day.
And if you’ve ever wondered why most restaurants don’t list how many calories are in the foods they serve, here’s the answer: Having a laboratory analyze all the offerings on the menu can run anywhere from $11-thousand to $46-thousand dollars!