Food labels – are we trying to confuse people?

There are often reports in the media about people not understanding the nutritional information on food labels, which is partly due to a lack of understanding, but also related to the food companies deliberately try to mislead people to make their foods sound more healthy e.g. advertising a yogurt as 0% fat, only to find it has been filled with loads of sugar
I once saw an advert at a farm in Wales selling fresh milk that is ‘96% fat free’. Now 96% fat free means 4% fat – which is actually full fat milk – brilliant campaign though, wonder how many feel for it.

One thing that I don’t understand though is this food label, as there is 67% wheat 34% sugar (that’s 101% with only the first 2 ingredients) Glucose syrup is then next, followed by honey at 3% (so Glucose must be more than 3% – so in total there is at least 107% of ingredients in this box!

People like me that work in education are keen to raise the standards of people’s basic skills (numeracy, literacy, IT etc) but it doesn’t help when we get information like this out there.

2 Responses

  1. The percentages relate to the raw ingredients, the weight of the raw ingredients is more than the weight of the finished cooked product, so the percentages don’t add up.

    Look at jam for another example.

    Prepared with 50g apricots per 100g. Total sugar content : 60g per 100g.

    50g plus 60g equals 110g

    They should make it clearer on the labels though.


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