Truth is, we have no idea what is happening around us. If you have ever watched Jay Leno do his interviews on the streets, you get the idea that we are all as dumb as a box of rocks. It may be true. George Washington may be the father of our country because he apparently slept everywhere if you can believe all the “George Washington slept here” signs. Is it really too much of a stretch for all those signs to have said “George Washington slept with me” if we were in a more progressive time back then.
However, if you ask the average American who the father of our country was today, they’d probably tell you Bill Clinton. We don’t read anything, we don’t know anything. So when it comes to reading labels on food boxes, the manufacturers know that the most important part for them is the Tag line they put on the front of the box.
It really doesn’t matter if a breakfast cereal is 80% sugar if it says “An important part of a balanced breakfast” on the front. We don’t have a clue! Why, because we simply don’t read. All we want is the reader’s digest version and that is what’s on the front of the box. No food manufacturer is going to put “This product makes you FAT!” on the front. That is what you can read for yourself on the back in the ingredients. The manufacturer is going to put something more like “All Natural” which means what little it contains that is actually natural is all natural.
If nothing else, read the ingredient list under the nutritional facts. It runs in order of most to least. If the number one or two ingredient is sugar or high fructose corn syrup, that should tell you something. If it says “whole wheat” on the front but it’s the 8th ingredient on the back, well, they are trying to blow one past you. You can’t always tell by the label, but if you never read the dadgum thing, you’re going to get screwed over every time.
Here is the article that inspired this blog:
“MONDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) — American consumers don’t pay as much attention to food product nutrition labels as they claim, a new study finds.”
“Researchers asked 203 people to look at information about 64 different grocery products displayed on a computer screen. The information included the well-known Nutrition Facts label, a picture and list of ingredients, and a description of the product that included price and quantity.”
“The participants’ eye movements were tracked as they looked at the information on the computer screens. This revealed that many participants read only the top five lines on the Nutrition Facts label and that their self-reported viewing of certain items on the label was much higher than it actually was, the study said.”
“While 33 percent said they almost always look at calorie content, 31 percent said the same about total fat content, 20 percent for trans-fat content, 24 percent for sugar content and 26 percent for serving size.
However, only 9 percent of the participants actually looked at calorie count for nearly all the products in the study, and only about 1 percent looked at total fat, trans-fat, sugar content and serving size…”