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How Food Labels Can Mislead Consumers


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How Food Labels Can Mislead Consumers

Many food manufacturers purposely mislead consumers by neglecting to mention key ingredients on labels. Others hype up certain benefits, such as "fat-free" or "low-sodium," neglecting more negative factors such as the fact that these types of products often are high in sugar.

Many times a label that claims a product to be fat-free or low-sodium is forced to increase the sugar to make the food actually taste good. However, this means it's still just as unhealthy.

"Fat-free snacks that are loaded with sugar are digested rapidly, sending your blood sugar soaring; as soon as it drops again, you'll crave more 'fat-free' empty calories," Joel Weber wrote on MSNBC.

Manufacturers are also notorious for mislabeling calorie counts, according to Weber. They will often generously package a product so that it is heavier than its stated net weight or serving-size weight.

Food labels are often deceptive as a way to gain more consumers. For example, major manufacturers such as Kelloggs rolled out their "Smart Choices" front of package labeling in 2009, misleading consumers into believing products such as Froot Loops were healthy options.