February 14, 2006
Misleading Labeling, Ignorance And Obesity
I was in line at the grocery store today and there was a mom ahead of me in the checkout line. Among the short list of items she was purchasing were about 10 bottles of that "Sobe" sugar-bomb crap drink in various flavors.
I couldn't help myself... I had to say something.
Me: "Wow, I wonder how much sugar is in one of those things?"
Mom: "Yeah, I have no idea."
Clerk: (Picking up and reading label) "32 grams."
Me: "Uh, yeah. How many servings are in that bottle?"
Clerk: (Eyes widening) "Two and a half servings."
Mom: "Well, my kids like 'em so I buy them."
Hey, give me some credit at least for not saying the next logical thing: "So, are your kids overweight? How about hyperactive?"
So not only was this a prime example of people's ignorance of what they're feeding themselves and their kids, but also an example of the #%#$$%% misleading nutritional information on junk food like this. Even if someone gives a cursory look at the nutrition label, they most likely assume that they're looking at the numbers for what a normal person considers ONE serving: ONE bottle.
I've seen this before and it drives me absolutely insane! So here the clerk (if she had been buying it) might have thought that there were 32 grams of sugar in that drink, when in fact it contained 80 grams of sugar.
And what else stinks about nutritional labeling? How about the fact that although the U.S. does not use the metric system in any way, it's used in giving quantities on these labels. How much is 32 grams of sugar? 80? Grams are small right?
Why instead of 32 grams per serving doesn't the label say 19 teaspoons, or 6.5 tablespoons of sugar?
Because if people actually took the time to read labels they might think twice about buying it, that's why.
See the problem is that people assume that no one would actually sell stuff as food that is bad for you. The problem is that in general people seem to be too bloody dense to make what would seem to be the obvious connection between what you stick in your mouth and what ends up appearing around their beltline or on their hips.