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Reading Labels

I worked in a supermarket part time when I was in undergraduate student in Binghamton, N.Y.  Back in those dinosaur days, items were labeled with their prices and during checkout, I would need to key the type of item (meat vs. deli vs. fruit, etc) and then manually enter the price for that grocery.  The buyer could pay with cash or write a check.  Fast forward to current times and every item has a bar code affixed, the scanner reads the price and type of item and most people whip out their debit cards to pay for their shopping.

Another big difference between now and then: Back in the 70’s NONE of the items had nutritional contents on the labels.  We basically had zero clue as to the calories, sugar, fat, salt and other contents of the items.  Except one…the  diet soda “Tab” exclaimed “No calorie”.   In 1990, the Nutrition Labeling And Education Act (“NLEA”) was signed into law.  The NLEA required food packages to contain a detailed, standardized Nutrition Facts label with information such as: serving size; the number of calories; grams of fat, saturated fat, total carbohydrate, fiber, sugars and protein; milligrams of cholesterol and sodium; and certain vitamins and minerals.  The familiar black and white label we see debuted in 1994.

Even fast food restaurants place on their menu boards the calorie counts of their burgers, fries, sodas, shakes and other offerings.

During your long-term quest to control weight, it is important to spend the time looking at the labels of the foods/drinks you are buying.  By doing so, you will quickly see whether the items you are buying are derailing your efforts and also, how derailing they are.  When I read labels, I am often surprised as to the amounts of calories, sugars and fats are in the items I previously thought were sort of “good’ from a nutritional standpoint.

Please get into the pattern of reading labels every time you pick something off the shelf to place into your shopping cart.  You may find yourself placing some on these items back on the shelf.

And one of my favorite record labels:  Motown founded by Berry Gordy..and here is my favorite Motown hit: 

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