calorie levels on food packaging 'wildly misleading' - food packaging film
The manufacturer's measurement of energy levels in food does not include fiber, which accounts for about five of our calorie intake.
For example, dieters who eat Muesli for breakfast may wonder why it is difficult for them to lose weight because the packaging ignores the "invisible calories" contained in the high fiber content ".
In contrast, those who eat a lot of protein may consume less energy than they realize, because the current system overestimates the number of calories it contains by 20.
What is even more confusing is that nutrition advice does not indicate whether food is raw or cooked, processed or unprocessed.
Cooking and processing foods can change calorie levels to as high as we consume more energy to digest hard uncooked foods, experts explained.
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Researchers say this means people are trying to stick to the recommended daily male calorie limit of 2,500 and the female calorie limit of 2,000, which may be much more or less than they realize.
On Monday, at the annual meeting of the American Society for the Advancement of Science in Boston, independent nutritionist Dr. Jeffrey Livesey explained: "In the UK, we don't give value to the fibers, so the heat is usually lower
On average, about the energy in food comes from fiber.
"So consumers consume more calories than they think, especially if the food is high --fibre. . . .
It is a healthy food when people eat muesli, but they often add a lot of weight.
"For decades, calorie levels in the UK have been calculated based on the" general factor system ", a simple formula based on how many grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates are in food.
According to the system, each gram of protein or carbohydrate contains four calories, while one gram of fat contributes nine calories to the total calories shown on the package.
However, research in early 1990 confirmed that two more calories per gram of fiber was worth, and this additional information was not included in food in the UK.
Nutritionists recommend that adults consume 18 grams of fiber per day, equivalent to an additional 250 calories per week.
The rules introduced by the European Commission last year require food manufacturers across the continent to add fiber to calorie calculations, but Dr. Livesey said it was unclear how many people had followed the new system.
The study also confirmed that there are 3 proteins in each gram of protein.
2 calories instead of 4 calories, but there is currently no update to the common factor system to consider this.
Professor Richard wrenham of Harvard University added that nutrition advice should also take into account the differences in energy contained in raw and cooked food.
"Raw food is less than the calories provided by cooked food for two basic reasons-they are not easy to digest and can be digested with a higher cost of partial decomposition," he explains . ".
"What we're talking about is at least the difference between 10 and 30.
"There's a lot of misinformation about calories, and for consumers, whether they're on a diet or not, getting the right information about what they're eating is crucial.