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100 Calorie Snack Packs - Still A Misconception

Updated on June 13, 2011

Not the healthy snack manufacturers would have consumers believe.

One hundred calorie snack packs are nothing new and neither is the fact they continue to confuse and even deceive consumers. Americans spend over $23 billion dollars on weight loss products per year. So there’s no doubt the dieting industry is a booming business and everyone wants a piece of the pie. Companies are cashing in on the concept of marketing junk food in convenient little bags to the tune of a whopping $150 million per year. Consumers are given the misleading impression that foods like Oreos, Ritz crackers, Chips Ahoy, Pringles and other snack food products are suddenly nutritious simply because they’ve downsized the packaging.

Irresponsible marketing

Selling these products in 100 calorie portions doesn’t make them any more nutritious. The fact is these snacks and others like them still contain the same “empty calories” as they always have. The manufacturers are simply saying that we, as consumers, can’t control our eating habits so they’ll do it for us. In addition, although these products are labeled as having 0 grams of trans fat they still list hydrogenated oil, which is laden with trans fat, on the ingredient list. Companies are exploiting the fact that the FDA allows food manufacturers to list 0 grams of fat if the amounts of trans fat is less than 0.5 grams per serving. And studies show that smaller packaging means less staying power, eventually leading to more frequent eating. And when you consider the fact that many parents are packing these prepackaged snacks in their children’s lunch boxes it’s irresponsible of manufacturers.

Package your own nutritious snacks

So what’s a consumer to do? Nutritionists agree that the best snack foods are still the same as always. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and small containers of low fat or no fat yogurt are all excellent alternatives to empty calorie junk food. They can easily be divided up and packaged into small portions and be taken to work or school. And when only ice cream or cake will satisfy a sweet tooth indulge yourself with small portions. Have a small piece of cake or one ice cream bar. And resign yourself to stop there. The key is to remember that it’s okay to reward yourself with a treat now and then as long as it’s done in moderation.

Exercise and a healthy diet is your best defense to weight loss

Exercise, along with a healthy diet, is the key to losing and keeping off weight. The recipe for losing weight is simple; you must burn off more calories than you take in. There is no quick way around this. With obesity at an all time high it’s careless of manufacturers to market fatty, non-nutritional products to consumers, particularly to children. Continually keeping ourselves educated and informed on the nutritional value of the foods we buy, eat and feed our children is our best defense to misleading product advertising as well as being a consumer's responsibility.

Walking for a better life and losing weight


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    • lovesleftovers profile image

      lovesleftovers 5 years ago from Texas

      Hi Laura. You're exactly right! Companies are very good at fooling the public aren't they? Fruit is always the best substitute. Thanks for your comments and for your vote!

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

      Thanks for this hub. Those 100 calorie snack packs have always driven me crazy! Want 100 calories? Go eat an apple! Voted up.