I’m not one to ever pick up a candy bar in the supermarket line or do I ever pick one when we’re on a road trip with the family and eat junk. To be honest, I rarely eat candy bars.
So the other day I went into the real world and found myself facing a bowl of mini chocolates on a counter. They stared at me at something terrible. I just grabbed one of these and one of them and one on the floor.
I jump into my car and place the handful of “mini-bite” chocolate on the console next to me. Then I realized I had just grabbed enough mini-bites to be the size of a “jumbo” candy bar that I would never have bought! What did i think
I know exactly what I was thinking. You are small! Here are just a few calories! It’s not like eating a whole candy bar! What a journey of thought I’ve been thinking through. Wow, I fell for the miniature packaging and advertising trick. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one tricked into a handful of small bites that add up to a handful of calories and fat.
So when I sat at the traffic light, I grabbed the “Butter Finger” candy bite (my favorite) and looked for the calorie and fat content that should be written on the packaging. I wanted to know how many of these I could eat before it equals a full candy bar. Not to be found. No nutritional information at all. That interests me because I’m pretty sure it would take a full-size candy bar to put all of the nutritional information on the outside of the wrapper, but not the miniature bars. I’m sure the information was on the bag the bites came in that wasn’t transferred to the bowl or my grasping hand.
Does a mini candy bar have fewer calories and fewer fat? Absolutely, but not if you snap 6 of these. It’s one of those food packaging schemes that doesn’t register in our brain cells. We see little, we think little or nothing.
Manufacturers have done this to us for a long time. They lead you to think that their product is “light” when it really is a small amount and you now eat or drink two of them instead of the one you enjoyed before. They package it in smaller containers and use keywords that make you think it has fewer calories when it doesn’t.
I really believe that this is part of the problem in the world today and is a forerunner of the obesity problems America is facing. Most people don’t read labels or take the time to figure out what’s really in the product they’re buying (or grabbing). You really need to take the time to find out “how much” of the product actually tells you its nutritional value.
One big annoyance on my part is when I pick up a pack of something and read the nutritional value on the back and tell me it’s only 100 calories and 4 grams of fat. OK, that’s good until I see and see that it is one serving and the pack contains 5 servings. It gets even better if you look at the pack in hand and know that you are definitely not eating 1/5 of the bag. It was packed as a snack bag so that you could eat it all at once. The other 4 servings are not saved for later.
It’s so easy to fall prey to a quick grasp, smaller is less of a thought process. It’s about knowing what you are eating and understanding that “parts of the whole” can be just as dangerous to your diet and health. All of these “little” all-rounders add up and I know that many people here struggle with their weight control. They don’t add up all of the “little” nibbles, sips, and snacks they have throughout the day. Keep this in mind next time you grab a handful.