Many consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the nutritional content of the foods they consume. In order to help these consumers, companies are providing nutritional information on their product labels. Unfortunately, some of the information on these labels can be misleading. This paper provides calculations for the actual percentage of fat and protein of three packaged foods: Cheerios, Fat-Free Vanilla Activia Yogurt, and Campbell’s Grilled Chicken with Vegetables Ready-to-Serve soup.
As it is explained in the textbook, the proper procedure for determining the percentage of fat in a food is to take the number of fat grams per serving and multiply this number by 9. This number indicates how many calories per serving come from fat. Then, this number should be divided by the total number of calories per serving, and the quotient is multiplied by 100 to get a percentage. Below, this formula was used for each of the three products.
These calculations yield rather surprising results, especially for the Cheerios and the supposedly fat-free Activia yogurt. Cheerios is promoted as a heart-healthy food that is low in fat when in fact it is 17.48% fat. The Activia yogurt is labeled as being fat-free when it in fact is over 5% fat. At least the yogurt contains a good percentage of protein: 28.57%. This analysis revealed the importance of figuring out the actual percentage of fat and protein in foods, instead of relying on how the food is marketed.