Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Low Fat Spread

I want to tell a (slightly fictional) story...

Once upon a time I went a bit mad and decided to improve my health. I wanted to change from 'unhealthy' butter to something which I thought was a little more appropriate. My eye was caught by bright, colourful packaging that announced 'Gold Low Fat' spread. The 'low' part was emphasised so clearly that this seemed a good healthy option. After buying however, being slightly cynical, I studied the small print - the nutritional information - and to my horror discovered that it contained 38% fat (within the EU limit of 41% - in order to advertise it as low fat) and that a lot of that fat content was of the very unhealthy kind: hydrogenated vegetable fat.

Well over a third of fat in a product didn't seem to constitute 'healthy' so feeling deceived I traipsed back to the shop for an explanation. 'It is low fat', the shopkeeper insisted, 'it says so on the packet'. Anyway, as a gesture of goodwill, he replaced it with a new and improved version. Immediately I noticed two changes; the 'low fat' logo on the front of the product had been significantly increased (thus more prominent) and, reading the nutritional information, so had the fat content - this time to 39%. Apart from that the contents had remained the same.

Again I return to the shopkeeper with my concerns - there appeared to be a deliberate and renewed attempt to deceive customers on the nature of the product he was selling. He, by this time, was getting a little cross. But he came up with a newer apparently better alternative - a 'low fat lightweight' spread. Again the packaging had been changed, now it was covered in lots of cute pictures of trees and countryside scenes and the words 'low fat' now adorned most of the box. Inspecting the contents, however, revealed that the fat content had now increased to 40%. I decided to boycott this shop, buy my product elsewhere and in the meantime inform everyone I knew of the misleading nature of the original shop.

Within days I receive an angry letter from said shop accusing me of losing him customers and business and that really he did sell 'low fat' products if only people stopped reading the nutritional labels.

Anyway going off on a tangent Autonomous Mind has a great post on Tory euroscepticism and Roger Helmer MEP's 'strategy' on exiting the EU - basically vote Tory because they are low fat, no really.

1 comment:

  1. For years I have ONLY eaten unsalted butter.
    For the same reasons