Don’t Trust Those Food Labels!

That label is lying to her. And so are her friends who told her that shirt was cute.

Be warned, ladies: Nutrition labels lie.

A new study of meals from ten different popular food chains found that the actual calorie counts of those meals averaged 18 percent higher than what was advertised. I’m not very good at math, but I think that adds up to a LOT of extra cals.

I know what you’re thinking: first, it’s my grande caramel frappucinno, and now I can’t even indulge in a little frozen Chicken Carbonara? The truth hurts, sista.

It doesn’t surprise me that Wendy’s and chains like Ruby Tuesday would cheat a little to impress the occasional health nut who actually checks their calorie counts and market themselves as “healthy.” But with them, what does it really matter? If you’re wolfing down a Classic Triple with cheese or Shrimp Alfredo pasta with white cheddar mashed potatoes on the side, calories are probably not your first concern. What does surprise me is the fact that frozen meal companies, like Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers, are doing this and getting away with it. Um, isn’t low cals the only reason anyone buys a Smart Ones Salisbury Steak? Lord knows it’s not because it tastes good… or like Salisbury Steak.

I feel cheated. I feel angry. I feel…fat. Who knows how many extra calories I’ve been shoving down my throat? Calories I could have enjoyed a whole lot more if I were eating a delicious cheeseburger instead of some crappy frozen chicken dinner that I thought was a healthier option.

Hopefully a study like this will force restaurants and food companies to be more honest in their labeling. Until then, chew cautiously, ladies. And maybe hit the gym a little harder just to be safe.



  1. david hennessey says:


    I tell you I am not surprised. I was hired to do a workshop in a school in Canada and I had the students go through packaged food to look for surprising ingredients. It was not extra calories they found but, for example, sodium laurel sulphate which is used as a foaming agent in shampoo, the students found this same product in a children's cereals, precisely Froot Loops. The workshop was two years ago. I hope they have extracted that ingredient from this children's cereal.

    In France one of the ingredients I have found in children's candy is Gelatin from Pork marked on the package but it is frequently not marked as 'from pork' These are more reason's why I mentioned yesterday that I had written the book on organic food.

    Thank you to all your readers who visited my link for organic

    Have a great weekend,


  2. Tara says:
    This website is very helpful in understanding what the labels mean…you can type in what you are reading and it tells you exactly what it means.

    unfortunately "all-natural" or anything like that means nothing.

    They are also looking into labeling GMO's (genetically modified foods) which is already done in the EU, and also people are starting to want CO2 emissions labeled and possibly food miles labeled.

  3. Skittles says:

    Ugh, I totally saw this one coming too!!

    Especially with the frozen dinners.

    The smartones/lean cuizine mac and cheese…

    i was looking at the back of the box one day and i thought *DAMN, the regular mac and cheese I eat is less calories than that per serving!!*

    It totally disgraced me. If you're going to try dieting and your favorite foods end up being mac and cheese and pizza; dont buy "diet" mac and cheese and pizzas. They WILL lie to you.

    Here's my advice for anyone who needs it.


    Taco Shell Pizza

    Calories: 100-250 (depending on shell size/how much cheese you use)

    Take a soft taco shell, add sauce and cheese; microwave for about 10-30 seconds. Ta da! Instant low cal lunch! Chewy, too :D

    English Muffin Pizza

    Calories: 200-300

    Cut english muffin open; add cheese and sauce; throw in toaster oven for about 5 minutes. If you want a pizza snack; eat one of the halves and put the other in the fridge/in a container for later. They're 100% reheatable.

    Mac && Cheese

    Calories: 220-300

    Cook about a 1/4 cup macaroni; the strain the water out; before you put the mac and cheese back into the pot; put a splash or two of milk in and with the oven set on low; tear pieces of slice cheese* and stir them around with the milk. add a splash of butter, mix some more, then add your macaroni, mix up and you're good to go. It takes about 2 slices for 1/2 a cup of macaroni, but dont be afraid to add you're favorite shredded chesse (like taco/pizza chesse) too!!


  4. Kloé says:

    As upsetting as it is, it's not so surprising. Just considering the cooking techniques they use, that could add up to 200 cal for a meal.— They certainly don't use cooking spray!

  5. […] head spinning with questions about daily caloric intakes and serving sizes (especially knowing that some of them are way off!). But navigating a food label doesn’t have to be as hard as finding a decent guy on a college […]

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