Filmmaker Finds Listed Calories on Foods He Eats Every Day Are Wildly Inaccurate

A filmmaker found that nearly every single food item he ate on a daily basis low-balled calorie counts
“There’s one thing I can say for certain: our current system for regulating calories is woefully inadequate,” filmmaker Casey Neistat writes in a New York Times op-ed.

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“There’s one thing I can say for certain: our current system for regulating calories is woefully inadequate,” filmmaker Casey Neistat writes in a New York Times op-ed.

How many times have you gone to order a loaded burrito from Chipotle or even a salad from Panera and been dismayed by the astronomic calorie counts? According to one amateur food scientist and filmmaker, restaurant calorie counts are higher than we think and completely off the mark from what is advertised.

Casey Neistat teamed up with two food scientists from the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center to painstakingly and accurately assess five items that Neistat may eat on a given day. He posted his findings in a New York Times op-ed. Spoiler alert: Four out of the five items tested were higher in calories than the menu would have you believe adding up to 550 extra calories that were unaccounted for.

Here’s the breakdown:

Grandpa’s Original Banana Nut Muffin: Declared Calories: 640. Actual Calories: 734.7.

Starbucks Grande Coffee Frappuccino: Declared Calories: 370. Actual Calories: 392.9.

Chipotle Barbacoa Burrito: Declared Calories: 1175. Actual Calories: 1295.

Healthy Spicy Tofu Sandwich: Declared Calories: 228. Actual Calories: 548.4.

Subway 6” Turkey Sub: Declared Calories: 360. Actual Calories:350.8.

Both Starbucks and Chipotle said that since their food and drink items are made on-premises that they’re subject to small differences in calorie counts. Both fast casual chains explained that they add up calories mathematically and not in a laboratory setting. Subway stressed that “Nutritional accuracy” is vital to the culture of the company. 

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