Don't be fooled by low-calorie/high protein claims

I'm in New York City this week and one of the exciting things about that is that I can try a wide variety of foods that Cape Cod grocery stores don't have. Today I bought a package of "Glenny's Low-Fat Soy Crisps" and, while they were quite good and relatively healthy for a packaged snack food, the consumer advocate in me has some complaints about the advertising on the package at right. It reads "10 Grams pure Soy Protein" and "Only 65 Calories per Serving."

This is a classic example of advertising spin: it isn't false and it isn't even misleading necessarily -- but it's a case of the company putting its best nutritional foot forward, and health-conscious consumers will need to be vigilant.

A look at the nutritional fact shows that there are indeed 65 calories per serving, with 2 servings per bag for a total of 130 calories. Each serving contains 5 grams of protein and the entire bag contains 10.

My beef with the marketing here is that they present the one you want a lot of -- protein -- on a per bag basis and then they present the calorie count on a per serving basis. 10 grams of protein appears right above 65 calories, but you'd actually have to eat 130 calories to get the 10 grams of protein.

Moral of story: pay no attention to "low -fat", "high protein", "light," "low calorie", etc labels on the front. If you want to know what you're eating, flip the product over, put on your glasses, and read the nutritional label: "just the facts ma'am."

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