Gather 3 of your favorite packaged foods.  Analyze through the mathematical formula the fat content and protein content from your foods. Below is what the packages say: Scalloped Potatoes   ...

Gather 3 of your favorite packaged foods.  Analyze through the mathematical formula the fat content and protein content from your foods. 

Below is what the packages say:

Scalloped Potatoes    130 calories  4 oz serving  2g Protein  3g fat

Mac n Cheese   360 calories  4 oz serving  13g Protein 12g fat

Brownies  170 calories   5 oz serving   1g Protein  5g fat

The above numbers are those calculated by the food industry and are misleading.

To analyze the correct protein content use 4 calories per gram of protein.

For example if a 10-oz serving of food contains 240 calories and the lable states it has 9 grams of fat. The food industry converts 10 ounces to grams by multiplying each ounce by 29 grams so the product is 290 grams and if there are 9 grams of fat the % of fat is   9/290 x 100% = 3.1%.

This is misleading.  The correct way is:

To calculate the fat content is to multiply the number of grams of fat by 9 to get the calories. Next divide the fat calories by the total calories and multiply by 100% to get the percentage of calories derived from fat. The calories from fat on the lables is not figured accurately and is misleading.              

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justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The answer to your question about whether the information on the packaging is misleading or not lies in what has been stated in the packaging.

The information provided on the packages is the number of grams of fat and protein in each product. For example:

Mac n Cheese   360 calories  4 oz serving  13g Protein 12g fat

means a 4 ounce serving of Mac n Cheese contains 13 g protein and 12 g fat. The total number of calories in the product is 360 calories.

There is no mention made on the product packaging of the number of protein calories or number of fat calories or the percent of calories that are derived from protein or fat.

That I guess has to be calculated by the consumer. For example a serving of Mac n Cheese has 360 calories. It has 13*4 = 52 calories from proteins and 108 calories from fat. The percentage of calories from protein is 52/360*100 = 14.4% and the percentage of calories from fat is 30%.

It is not fair to say that the packaging provides misleading information as what they have provided is absolutely correct. It is for the consumer to analyze this information and make a decision on whether to buy the product or not.

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