Truth in Labeling: Nutrition Data?

In her What to Eat blog, nutritionist Dr. Marion Nestle notes that the New Zealand Food Safety Council (NZFSC) recently did an audit of nutrition labels in that country. The NZFSC found significant discrepancies between what was printed on the boxes and what they found in the food products themselves.

According to the original article in Food Production Daily, the reasons given for these discrepancies – in addition to the “huge inbuilt safety margins” for vitamins and minerals – include issues with “adding small amounts of nutrients to large volumes of product and obtaining uniform distribution throughout” and issues of nutrient degradation over shelf life.

“International evidence, continued NZFSA, suggests that actual levels [of nutrients] can vary significantly by up to 320 per cent of the claimed value.”

Dr. Nestle expresses concern that we might have similar issues here in the United States.

Given the way many of us think additional vitamins and supplements might affect our blood glucose control and the progression of diabetes, this could be an issue of interest.

Additionally, if any of the macronutrients (protein/carbs/fats) were to vary significantly from the posted amounts, it could significantly affect short-term blood glucose control.