Saturday, 29 September 2007

Misleading or just pointless?

In the picture, you see Tesco's Finest Black Cherry Yoghurt with Channel Island cream, which is delicious, but contains 210 kilocalories. The dish on the right has Low Fat yoghurt, yet contains 225 kilocalories. Admittedly the Black Cherry one is only 150 gm, while the one with honey and coconut granola is 165 gm, but that's not really the point.

Seems to me, by putting "Low Fat" on the label, they let you think it's a low calorie item, where in fact it contains just as many calories as the high fat item with added cream to its left.

Why bother telling us it uses low fat yoghurt if that's not intended to make you think that eating it is doing you less harm?


I think this vindicates Which? magazine's stance in favour of a traffic light colour scheme for food marking, and seriously undermines the supermarket's view that it would confuse people. I believe the food industry wants to confuse people because that helps them sell more, though to be fair I'm not sure exactly how it does that.

5 comments:

ArcticFox said...

Oh, you crafty monkey... you have actually neglected to give us the whole picture here... quite literally.

From what I see:

Black Cherry yoghurt = 16% fat (that's high in anyone's book).

Low fat yoghurt = 7% fat (fairly low by most standards, especially for dairy).

There are of course different kinds of fats, and the ones we should be most worried about are the "saturated" fats.

Generally:

runny fat = good
hard fat = bad
(at room temp)

So, in my opinion, we need to see the full breakdown of sat-fats for these two yoghurts in order to make an informed decision!!

FoX

Rob Clack said...

I did actually consider completely rewriting this post, as I think it's confused and confusing, but it's too late now!

You're quite right about the sat fats, of course. The black cherry yog has 11.3 g of fat, of which 6.6 is saturates, while the other one has 5 g of fat of which 1.3 is saturates, so although the actual calorific content is the same, the other one really is less bad for you!

Typical of me to leap to a conclusion without the thorough in-depth research required for it to be worth the candle!

Singing in a concert tonight, so off to rehearse now. Have a good evening.

ArcticFox said...

Thanks for the info on the yoghurts.... I think eventually you answered your own question, and that's great!!

Good luck with the concert.... It's strictly real ale for me tonight, and maybe a chorus of "show me the way to go home" at some point when I am stumbling across the ring-road!!

FoX

orchidea said...

Honestly, food labelling (without disputing the consumer's undeniable right to know what she/he's purchasing) is just an excuse not to teach people about nutrition. It should feature prominently in every school's curriculum and be taught by experts.

I find yoghurt containing 16 - or even 11! - percent fat unbelievable. In fact, I wouldn't even call it yoghurt. One of my staple foods is organic full milk (I steer clear of anything labelled no-fat/low-fat) yoghurt that contains 3.8% fat per 100g...

I wish there was less emphasis on calorie content and more on the far greater evil of the preservatives and additives in so-called convenience foods, because they, together with not enough exercise, are what lead to obesity.

Sorry for the rant, Rob. I could go on and on and on... ;-)

Rob Clack said...

I do agree, DJK, and don't normally spend too much time looking at the nutrition info.

And the additives bit is quite topical now, isn't it? We've known for years there was a link between some of these food colorants and hyperactivity in kids, yet even now the relevant agency won't actually do anything about it.

Bah! Gummints! Who'd 'av 'em?