While working on our database of foods and nutrients, I noticed differences between calories calculated by USDA and major manufacturers for the same products (manufacturers calculate less calories, of course). Besides, calories added during preparation are not always taken into account (The F.D.A. looks into ingredients to calculate calories).
According to a small band of researchers, using the information onfood labels to estimate calorie intake could be a very bad idea. They argue that calorie estimates on food labels are based on flawed and outdated science, and provide mislea ding information on how much energy your body will actually get from a food. Some food labels may over or underestimate this figure by as much as 25 per cent, enough to foil any diet, and over time even lead to obesity. As the western world's waistlines expand at an alarming rate, they argue, it is time consumers were told the true value of their food.
You'll enjoy reading the article and also reading the numerous comments made by readers - on raw food diets, GI indeces, wolfing down food, dieting, exercising and cooking techniques.