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Nutritional Information Errors Appear Widespread Here on Spark

Friday, January 06, 2012

Yesterday I blogged about happening to find a discrepancy between the nutritional information pre-entered in the Spark database, and that actually printed on product labels. Today, with some consternation, I find the errors to be considerably more widespread than I expected.

As owner of my company, I have dutifully stocked the office fridge, freezer and pantry with healthy lunch and snack options. Today I found that my lunch choice (Health Choice Chicken Noodle Soup in a microwaveable bowl) and my snack choice (a Blueberry Nutri-Grain bar) both had incorrect information in the Spark database.

I think I know why. I believe the major food manufacturers change their formulations and thus, their nutritional labeling with some measure of frequency. Probably they tinker with formulations for maximum profit; I'm not so naive to think they seek more healthfulness in their products. In any event, what happens in the Spark database is that information gets outdated.

Anyway, I'd like to think its a matter of some of the nutritional data being outdated. Sloppiness, the other explanation, goes against the otherwise wonderful experience of being here. I'm not drinking THAT (diet) kool-aid yet!

I also have found a partial work-around: scan down to the most recent entries by other Spark users - they seem to come up in chronological order. The bottom-most ones (or near the bottom) usually have my nutritional data correctly. And yes I know I can manually enter the data myself for pre-packaged food, but laziness is my middle name!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MARYANN2323
    One thing that I have found is that on some package labels it will say, for ex. 1 muffin 85 gm. = 125cal. So one would assume that 1 muffin was 125 cal. But if you weigh that same muffin it turned out to be 110 gm. That means the muffin is 25% larger than stated on label. That also means that said muffin is now 156cal. We have to be ever vigilant and not take what the manufacturers are telling us, as the gospel truth. It comes down to EATER BEWARE!
    3203 days ago
  • MARYANN2323
    One thing that I have found is that on some package labels it will say, for ex. 1 muffin 85 gm. = 125cal. So one would assume that 1 muffin was 125 cal. But if you weigh that same muffin it turned out to be 110 gm. That means the muffin is 25% larger than stated on label. That also means that said muffin is now 156cal. We have to be ever vigilant and not take what the manufacturers are telling us, as the gospel truth. It comes down to EATER BEWARE!
    3203 days ago
  • CAMOGIE3
    Thanks for the info!
    3209 days ago
  • ECOAGE
    I remember reading somewhere (long ago --- can't remember the details) that suppliers sometimes have regional differences that can explain the difference in nutritional data.
    3209 days ago
  • MEEBELO
    Thanks for the heads up.
    3210 days ago
  • SEAJESS
    Hmmmm..... guess I'm lucky I don't eat many processed foods or enter them manually when I do. I have on occasion used a Spark item, though. Thanks for the heads up and I will check.

    Last, but certainly not least, you sound like an AWESOME employer to even think about stocking the workplace with healthy choices. Bless you!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3210 days ago
  • JAZZ20
    Interesting note. Most the time I just pick somebody's input of nutritional data, I've never really paid attention.
    3210 days ago
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