Calorie counts are "seriously flawed" claim scientists

20th February 2013 - Fine Cut

Consumers are being painted a misleading picture regarding the amount of calories in the food they eat, according to leading scientists.

Reported by, UK researcher Geoffrey Livesey spoke at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston regarding the calorific value of fibre in food.

He believes high-fibre foods that are sold as low in calories on labels could contain up to 25 per cent more calories than the label suggests. believes the current system does not take into account the work done by the gut in digesting less-processed and raw food, which takes energy and reduces the net calorie count of meals.

In addition, fibre was previously assumed to pass through the body without being digested, but soluble fibre and other elements of fibre can be broken down to release energy. As a result, people could be consuming more than 250 extra calories a week without realising it.

Dr Livesey commented: "The problem is the system did not consider fibre, but it has a big impact on the variance of energy content in food. What the old system gave us is a very general calorific value.

"In Britain, we have not assigned a value for fibre, so calorie counts have normally been lower - on average around five per cent of energy in food is fibre," he added.

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