One of the goofiest reports I’ve read is by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation talking about how many calories the American food industry has cut out of its products.
According to the report, Big Food, as manufacturers such as Campbell Soup and General Mills are known, collectively will remove 6.4 trillion calories from their products. The report claims that will cut daily calorie consumption by 78 calories per person — assuming you eat those products.
It seems to me a person could go crazy trying to keep track of those 78 calories each day. Let’s say you ate a couple of extra spoonfuls of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup because you craved those missing calories. If that happened, you might actually gain weight. Here’s how:
Let’s say you ate soup from which 78 calories were missing, and you felt mighty proud of yourself. I know that is possible, because I’ve done it myself. So, you decide to celebrate and eat a little extra something, such as a Hostess Twinkie, which also is allegedly a lower-calorie food. The reason it is lower calorie, though, is that the Twinkies are smaller than they were before the Hostess Baking Co. went bankrupt and was taken over by somebody else.
Well, if you ate one of the lower-calorie Twinkies, you might want to celebrate your restraint by drinking a lower-calorie Coke or Pepsi. The Coke and Pepsi themselves would not be lower calorie, but merely would be packaged in smaller containers, also known as mini-cans.
Having consumed a mini-can of Coke or Pepsi, you might decide to have some health food — low-fat yogurt. But yogurt is yogurt, and the makers use the same trick as everybody else — selling smaller portions.
If you can get through all that and still squeeze out 78 calories, my hat is off to you. If you can’t do it, though, blame the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for getting your hopes up.