Sunday 10 March 2013

Today's Review: Nutritional Information Labels

You know what the worst thing is about being on a diet? It's not the hunger, it's not even having to give up your favourite unhealthy foods. No, it's having to read the nutritional labels on all the food. It may not sound like such a bad thing, figuring out what you're putting in your body, trying to change your eating ways based on hard factual numbers, but they sure do make it hard for you.

First of all, sometimes it's pretty hard to even locate the nutrition information. If you're lucky there'll be a decent sized table on thge back of the product, with a clear outline. But on others it may be in pure tiny text form, on the back side of a label, or perhaps underneath another label entirely. I found myself picking at a label in Tesco today, hoping it would give way easily to let me discover a sauce's nutritional wonders, but it wasn't budging. 

But even when you locate the information you want, it's often so weirdly calculated that I have to stand around trying to figure out how many carbs I'll be eating anyway. This is what left me gawping at the back of sauce bottles for ten minutes today. If you're lucky, or American, the information provided on the packet is for the entirety of said packet. But most things tend to break it down into 100g, or 100ml, which in some cases is wholly unnecessary. I picked up a can of Monster today that informed me what 100ml contains, but no one's going to pretend that they drink a Monster in five equal portions. If I want energy, I'm not going to want to sit around multiplying things by five or tipping my drink into measuring jugs to see if I've got the right portion size. Just tell me what's in the entirety of the damn can. 

The reason I mentioned Americans earlier is that most of the American food I've seen doesn't insult you portion wise. They know you're going to eat that entire bag of M&Ms at once, so they tell you how many calories you've shoved into your face by the time you've emptied that sucker. But apparently in this country we have to have everything in moderation. Even bottles of Coke assume you're going to drink it in two sittings. So while nutritional information certainly is a good thing to have, you've got to remind yourself that they're only providing it because they have to, and apparently there are no laws against making it as awkward as possible for you to work out how much you're consuming.

My rating: 2/5

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