Can a company lie about nutrition facts?

The nutrition facts are approved by the FDA, so we are all confident in what the label shows. However, nutrition facts can be misleading. The law allows for a margin of error of up to 20 percent. The FDA has never established a system in which companies must comply with the law; it is expected that they will apply themselves, according to usnews, com.

Food labels seem to provide all the information an attentive consumer needs, so counting calories should be simple. But things get complicated because food labels only tell half the story. Even if you're among the 15 percent of people who take the time to review the nutrition information on the back of packages, the information you find there can be misleading. In essence, a model's diet varies completely depending on her body type, how easily she gains or loses weight, and what her nutritionist asks of her.

According to the FDA, nutrition labels can be up to 20% inaccurate when it comes to listing calories. Wansink says that these health-sounding terms create a health halo that surrounds the product and causes the prospective buyer to consider it nutritious, even if the product itself is junk food. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that commercially prepared foods have some variation in reported calorie counts. Just this week, the agency released new details on the nutritional information portion of food packages.

According to some biologists and nutrition researchers, there are at least five reasons why calorie counting could be wrong. In short, almost all health claims on food packaging are inherently misleading, says Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics and former professor of nutrition at New York University. But that doesn't mean you can always trust that those words will guide you in the right direction, says Lisa Young, professor of nutrition at New York University. Understanding these factors can help you make better decisions about the most nutritious foods for your healthy eating plan.

Unfortunately, if you're like the average shopper, those changes won't affect you because you don't review nutrition information. Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer and physical nutrition specialist. According to research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 19% of the foods tested in restaurants contained an energy content of at least 100 calories more than the declared energy content, an amount that could cause five to seven kilograms of weight gain per year if consumed daily.