It seems that, when discussing ideas related nutrition and healthy eating, the topic of “caloric intake” is nearly impossible to avoid. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Virtually every fad diet on the planet advertises some scheme in which the amount of calories you consume is reduced while still allowing you to binge on whatever food items you are currently fantasizing about. This is, of course, somewhat duplicitous, but it’s not the only instance of half-truths regarding calories being marketed to consumers as a whole.
Counting calories, as the process has become known, can be a useful way to know approximately how much of particular types of food an individual should consume on a daily basis. For example, individuals who are excited about the prospect of indulging in a calorie-heavy treat will likely be aware that this luxury can only happen every so often, as it rapidly pushes daily caloric intake above recommended levels.
That being said, new studies are emerging which state that the printed calorie counts on many popular food products may not be quite as accurate as we have been led to believe. According to Dr. Chris van Tulleken, there exists a substantial “margin of error” on many popular food products. van Tulleken states, “The thing is that these figures we have found are within government guidelines, and there is a limit to the accuracy of the test.”
van Tulleken also critiques the concept of a “recommended calorie intake”, stating that this overgeneralisation leads many individuals to consume more calories than they actually require in order to meet national guidelines. “You only need as many calories as you use” van Tulleken declares. “That’s why two-thirds of the population are overweight!”
This is, of course, not the only instance of confusion and debate sparked by food labels. Over the course of the past year, multiple conversations regarding the accuracy and legitimacy of current and proposed food labelling have occurred throughout North America and Europe. van Tulleken’s comments have formed yet another integral component of a strong argument defended by individuals around the world who believe that the regulatory institutions who mandate labelling standards must be held to a higher standard in order to ensure that the general public has the information they need to make informed choices.