Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, says labels for canned soup, ice cream, coffee creamer and aerosol non-stick cooking sprays understate the calories, sodium and saturated fat consumers are likely to eat.
In a letter to Margaret Hamburg at the FDA, Jacobson says canned soup presents a dramatic example of how unrealistic the stated serving sizes are.
For example, labels for Campbell's Chunky Classic Chicken Noodle soup indicate a serving is 1 cup -- a little less than half a can and has 790 milligrams of sodium -- about half the sodium most adults should consume in a whole day.
However, a national telephone survey commissioned by CSPI, indicates 64 percent of consumers would eat the whole can at one time and only 10 percent of consumers say they eat 1-cup portions, Jacobson says.
The serving size is a dainty half-cup of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream, which lists 10 grams of saturated fat per serving; however, many eat a whole cup and eat a full day's worth of saturated fat 20 grams, Jacobson says.