| 30.11,11. 09:58 AM |
Food package sizes cop a serve
November 30, 2011
BEWILDERING serving sizes are making it more difficult for shoppers to make healthy eating choices, a report has found.
An investigation of 1130 snack foods, breakfast cereals, bars, readymade meals, yoghurts and soups shows there is no such thing as a standard amount to eat.
Single serves for fruit yoghurts vary from 50g to 500g, muesli from 25-80g, potato chips from 19-50g, frozen meals from 115- 450g and popcorn 13-100g.
Consumer watchdog Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said some suggested servings seemed unrealistic, and inconsistencies made it difficult to compare products using percentage daily intake guides.
The nation's food ministers are due to decide on a batch of label recommendations next week.
Inconsistencies highlighted in the report included Woolworths Home Brand Quick Oats (30g) compared with Freedom Foods Quick Oats (60g) and Whisk & Pin muesli (80g) versus Carman's Deluxe Fruit Muesli (35g).
Australian Food and Grocery Council chief Kate Carnell said percentage daily intake guides were more realistic than overly simplistic "traffic light" labels that could make full-sugar soft drinks appear nutritionally better than milk.
Ms Carnell said different sized portions reflected different containers and ingredients.
Percentage daily intake guides detail key nutrient consumption based on serving sizes set by manufacturers.
Traffic light labelling gives at-a-glance nutritional information based on 100g or 100ml.
Obesity Policy Coalition spokeswoman Jane Martin said daily intake values "have the potential to be misleading in terms of energy and nutrition content as they are often based on smaller serving sizes than people realistically eat."