I have seen so many, and it always varies by country/region. Different countries adhere to different labeling requirements--thus the varying calorie and carbohydrate counts on so many products sold internationally. Fiber and sugar alcohols will skew calories/carb counts a lot.
In the States, manufactures are allowed to subtract insoluble fiber, sometimes soluble as well, and round to the nearest 10th if it is over 50kcal per serving. This means that if the calorie count is 58kcal, they can round down to 50 calories a serving.
As many of us know, each gram of carbohydrate and protein (using the Atwater method) contain 4kcal (technically it is 4.2kcal protein, and 3.8kcal carbohydrate), and 9kcal for fat (7kcal for alcohol).
This is perhaps the easiest way to check if the labels are pretty accurate. Often time, you will find these errors on diet/no sugar added/low carbohydrate products, since they tend to be higher in fiber and sugar alcohols.
Recently, I was reading the nutrition label on one of my favorite protein bars, when something struck me as being quite off.
Can you spot the problem?
If there are 4kcal per gram of Carbohydrate/Protein and 9 per gram of fat, then:
Carbs= 22g*4kcal/gram= 88 kcal
Protein= 21g * 4kcal/gram=84 kcal
Fat= 4g* 9kcal/gram= 36 kcal
TOTAL: 208 kcal; NOT 190.
This may seem like a small amount in the grand scheme of things, but it is the principle of the fact that the labels lie and are inaccurate. These add up.
Furthermore, there is no fiber in this product that could be subtracted from the carbohydrate total. You may think that they are compensating for the sugar alcohols, which are often calculated as 2.4kcal/gram.... in that case, the bar would be:
19g*2.4 kcal/g=45.6 calories and the remaining 3 carbs (22-19 sugar alcohols=3) would be 12 calories (3g of carb* 4 kcal/gram=12). Thus, the total calories using this method would be only 132 kcal.... something is clearly not adding up. When companies pull stunts like this, it really makes one wonder and hesitate on buying from this company. There are many fantastic bars that do label correctly, but it always serves as a reminder to be a conscious consumer and not trust all labeling and everything you see/read. Marketing is deceptive.
Here is another one:
Fat= 5grams * 9calories/gram= 45 kcal
Carbohydrates: 19g * 4kcal/gram= 76 kcal
Protein= 20g * 4kcal/gram = 80 calories
TOTAL BAR= 200
With subtracting the fiber, the total is 172, however we all metabolize fiber differently.
|Servings (per container):||1|
|Nutrition Data||Amount per|
|-- Sugar (g):||0|
|-- Fiber (g):||5|
|Have you had any bad nutritional label experiences?|