The Trickiness of Serving Sizes and Calories

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I had an interesting discussion today with my daughter as she was drinking a tasty Green Tea Iced Tea we had bought from the store. It was one I had bought with my tall strapping son in mind who usually doesn't drink zero calorie beverages. He is more into organic and non-adulterated! When it comes to my beverages, I am a little more lenient. Anyway, my daughter was drinking the iced tea and commenting on how delicious it was. Remembering I had gotten it for her brother, I asked her how many calories were in the drink.

The first thing she saw was the number of servings in the bottle- 2.5. This is typical. No drink you ever buy is ever just one serving. Then I asked her again about the calories. She said there were 50. I then asked her 'was that per serving or for the total bottle?' I saw a light bulb go off. She was thinking the 50 calories was for the whole bottle but then remembered how there were 2.5 servings in the bottle. She realized that the 50 calories was for only one of the servings. She had to figure out the math in order to figure out the total calories for the whole bottle. Very tricky marketing, I'd say. What sounds like not too many calories on the face of it turns out to be a lot more. The total bottle of iced tea turned out to be 125 calories. Not the worst drink to have but certainly ended up a lot more calories than what my daughter, and most people, would think. And who ever just drinks one serving or half a serving of a bottled beverage? Really?!? Why don't they just tell us what the total amount of calories are for the bottle? It would certainly be an eye opener! Or better yet, maybe we should just be buying single serving sized bottles so we would start to realize the difference between our super sized world of portions and our healthier world of serving sizes. Now that is an idea!

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