American Idle

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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"Serving Size" meets "Reality"

You've heard the complaints before. Companies often sell jumbo sized products in vending machines and the general public usually prefers blissful ignorance about the nutritional facts on the back. Sure it may say 110 calories for that soda, but closer inspection reveals that bottle holds, say, 1.5 servings, meaning that you're drinking 165 calories...not 110.

Here's an odd example I came across today...we purchased one of those Christmas "countdown" calendars with chocolates inside each little door. And Deb found a good one...not crappy, tiny chocolate coins like we got last year, these puppies are 1" by 2" solid bricks of chocolate. Anyway, as I scarfed down the candy for December 6th, I wondered exactly what damage I was doing. I checked the back of the calendar (you gotta love the oddity of a calendar having nutritional information) and it said 220 calories, 13 grams of fat. I had to do a double take on that since, although the chocolate was pretty good, it wasn't THAT good. I mean, was there a secret coating of lard and butter around it that I didn't detect? I looked closer at the label and it indicated "Serving Size: 4 pieces". Now that made more sense...but at the same time it made LESS sense. It's a daily countdown calendar...who throws back four pieces at a time? Do they expect you to wait in four day intervals and then binge? The only realistic time I can see this happening is if someone bought the calendar cheap on 12/20 and then went to town trying to catch up.

Whoa, that's a great idea. I see some discount shopping in my near future!


Blogger Darren said...

I think many people don't have the patience to wait each day for the candy, and just cheat and eat the whole thing, then buy another one so they don't look like a pig. :)

12/06/2005 8:34 PM  

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