Group says label serving sizes unrealistic

Aug. 2, 2011 at 6:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- A U.S. food advocacy group is urging the Food and Drug Administration to revise its serving-size regulations because many underestimate serving size.

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.

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