Beyond the Ratings – The Problem with Nutrition Labels

Dr. Carlos Monteiro published a scathing critique of food nutrition labels in the US this week in World Nutrition.

Dr. Monteiro argues:

  1. Products with nutrition labels are often not nourishing;
  2. Nutrition labels are mystifying;
  3. “Carbohydrate” is meaningless and misleading;
  4. “Protein” has no value;
  5. The presence of vitamins and minerals is often misleading;
  6. The term “daily value” is misleading;
  7. Nutrition labelling is intrinsically obscure

Overall, Monteiro views nutrition labels as more like advertising that is meant to convince US consumers to eat more processed foods.

To dig deeper into the problems – and strengths – of nutrition labels, I sat down with Dr. Sheila Viswanathan – GoodGuide’s registered dietitian – to discuss food labeling, and what GoodGuide is doing to respond to its limitations.

About Dara O'Rourke

Associate Professor at UC Berkeley and Co-Founder of GoodGuide.
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2 Responses to Beyond the Ratings – The Problem with Nutrition Labels

  1. The best foods are those that come with no labels at all. Wouldn’t you agree? An apple, a carrot, a banana, etc…–they all have no labels because you already know what is in them. Plain and simple, just plain and simple The longer the label, the more processed it is, and the less value it has to us nutritionally.

  2. I agree with all 7 points! Food labelling is not only useless, it’s misleading, and I think it confuses consumers.

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