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Do you read ingredient lists on food packages?

Posted by Sagan Patient Expert

I'm doing some research on misleading labels on food products for an investigative journalism piece, so I'm interested in what you all do when it comes to buying food!  Do you read nutrition labels?  Ingredient lists?  Do you go by what the label on the front tells you (eg. "0 trans fat")?  Do you have certain brands that you always buy because they're toted as healthy?  Do you purposely choose labels such as the Heart & Stroke Health Check symbol or the Kraft Sensible Solutions because of their healthy implications?

I'd love to hear everyones responses to this!

Answers (1)
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Absolutely I read labels and ingredient lists.  You cannot judge how healthy a product is by branding or ad claims on the packaging alone.  There's a huge difference between advertising claims that are legally allowed (and sometimes even these rules are bent by the food manufacturers) and what the actual ingredients tell you.  For example, zero trans fat does not always mean zero trans fat as the regs say that manufacturers can say zero grams of trans fat even though a product has as much as .5 grams.  Only the government would have math that says zero = .5!  Even organic labels can be confusing.  "Organic" means something is only 95% organic.  Only if it says 100% organic is it truly organic.

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