The Truth Behind Calorie Labels, by Casey Neistat

Hey everyone! I recently discovered Casey Neistat’s videos about NYC and I really recommend watching! I liked one that really caught my attention, it’s called “The Truth Behind Calorie Labels” and it gave me a lot of food for thought.

Have you realized that in NYC most restaurants and delis have the calorie count listed in their menus and labels? At first this was surprising for me, because I’ve never seen that in my home country. However, I got used to it pretty quick. I never really question those numbers, if they’re there, they must be a fact, right? Well, no.


Restaurants and delis are required to have that information available, but that information is not verified! While I don’t particularly pay too much attention to my calorie count (I love food, and that’s about it,) I find it horrible that those numbers have a lot of discrepancies with reality.


Mr. Casey compared the calorie count listed in those labels and compared it to the real calories those products contained. He did that on a research lab with proper equipment. The results are very interesting, and I’m sure you consume at these places pretty frequently if you’re around NYC:

  • This typical muffin you’ll find at any corner deli doesn’t even have a label. The company claims the calorie count is 640. But it’s actually 734.7 per muffin! Not much, but that’s almost 100 calories more than you expected for breakfast!


  • Starbucks Frappuccino anyone? Pretty close, only 20 calories in discrepancy.


  • Let’s have lunch at Chipotle! That’s only a small portion of its calories… but we’re adding about 120 calories to the unexpected count…

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  • Finally, a small “HEALTHY” packed sandwich will do for dinner. It has the word HEALTHY on the label and it says it has only 228 calories. Yay for health! Well, it turns out that it actually has 548.4 calories. Yeah, that’s over double the labeled amount.


Now, all these discrepancies might seem small when isolated, but look what happens when you add all of them for the whole day:


I’m not trying to say people should keep counting calories… My point is that all these labels make you think you’re making right choices and you TRUST them, when they’re actually not verified! 548.8 calories in excess for every day is quite a lot… Here’s the video so you can check it out:

I honestly don’t care much about calories, but I admit I look at those labels to make an estimate of what I should be eating to stay as healthy as possible. I’ll add a few more calories to get it closer to reality! Thanks Mr. Casey Neistat for the cool videos, thank you for reading and see you soon!



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