Calorie measures not always right

Daily Editorial Board

Calories are a misguided unit of measurement that doesn’t take into consideration how the body actually processes food, according to a report published last month.
Nutrition experts say the calorie information listed on packaged food doesn’t always correlate with how many calories our bodies actually take in during digestion. Studies have found that participants absorb different calorie levels based on how much work their bodies have to do to digest certain types of food.
Nevertheless, more than half of the college students who took part in a 2014 study believed calorie-counting was an effective method of weight loss or maintenance. In 2015, 43 percent of University of Minnesota students reported they were trying to lose weight, and almost two-thirds were doing so by restricting their diet.
Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires restaurant chains to post calorie counts — which University Dining Services has done for years. Nutrition experts have claimed such changes allow people to more responsibly monitor their nutrition.
Still, only one in five young adults between 18 and 24 eats fruits and vegetables five or more times per day. This age bracket also consumes fast food on an average of 2.5 days per week.
If calories aren’t a reliable way of measuring healthfulness, then University students should stop living by food labels. For now, we should focus on the basics: getting our blood pumping every day and eating whole, nutritional food that keeps us full.