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Sparkpeople's calorie counts always 10 off



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JAMIE68117
SparkPoints: (3,735)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 58
5/3/13 8:24 P

PATTY-WATTY- I'll be the first to admit even I have done that on certain occasions! A couple times I was in a hurry and only entered the calories/fat. I think there should be an option to enter in calories as a one-time thing without adding to the database! That would help not clog the whole database. But I agree- now I'm trying to track everything and it's annoying to have to go through like 10 just to find one with all the info filled out/accurate!

What bugs me about the 10 cal difference thing is- it'll be like 12 people have entered it different that what I'm seeing on the package- and I'm not seeing a single one that matches up! So odd.

For now I'm resorting to entering in everything manually. I'm also going by grams because I have a food scale- so it makes it easier when I'm weighing things out. If I want a little more or a little less I just type in the number of grams and don't have to worry about getting the EXACT serving size. :)



JAMIE68117
SparkPoints: (3,735)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 58
5/3/13 8:20 P

ANARIE- I don't always check all the nutrients when I'm in a hurry, so I can't answer that first part of your question for sure. This week I've been entering in EVERYTHING manually just to be safe. I live in Nebraska, and I've actually noted that on what I've been adding to the calorie database. I've been putting a year and my state just so in the future- people know what they're looking at.

I usually don't double check the fruits/veggies because the calories on those can vary so much based on different factors! Like- larger seed in a certain type of plum, more or less ripe bananas, etc. I've noticed it on all sorts of things other than fruits/veggies though. Basically on anything that requires a nutrition label.



JAMIE68117
SparkPoints: (3,735)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 58
5/3/13 8:15 P

MEGADANCINPEEJ- You're right it is really frustrating! I sometimes feel bad entering in info again, like I'm "clogging up" the database- but I want my stuff to be as accurate as possible!



JAMIE68117
SparkPoints: (3,735)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 58
5/3/13 8:14 P

I've heard that too about the listed calories sometimes being way off- that's so scary!!



MEGAPEEJ
Posts: 732
5/1/13 11:42 A

Anarie - at least for me all other nutrients and the fat/carb/protein counts match up, and only the calories show as 10 less than what the package says. I've noticed it on name-brand foods, from yogurt cups to granola bars to restaurant meals - member entered stuff.

One example - Fage 2% yogurt with strawberry, 5.3 oz. I just checked the nutritional entry for the first 5 that came up, that list 130 calories (all other info is accurate). The packaging shows 140 calories, and has for years.



DLIONALUM
Posts: 388
4/30/13 8:45 P

Another thing I notice is that some members will input just the calories, or maybe just the calories and fat of a food item because that's all they're tracking or concerned about I really need to know all of the information in order to monitor carbs, sodium, potassium and sometimes magnesium. So if someone enters the correct calories and fat, but omits the rest of the information I need to track, I'll just create my own entry and include it in my favorites list so I can find it easier.
emoticon



ANARIE
Posts: 12,379
4/30/13 7:44 P

Are the other nutrients off, or just the calories? It's not strange that there's a discrepancy, but it's odd that it's the same number on so many things. I sort of wonder if somehow your account is rounding.

Where do you live? That could make a difference, I suppose, if you live in a large state with its own labeling laws that encourage a different rounding method.

One other question: Is it happening with generic whole foods like fruit and veggies, or only with name-brand processed foods?



BLESSEDX4INTX
SparkPoints: (1,513)
Fitness Minutes: (495)
Posts: 1
4/30/13 5:21 P

I've personally picked up 2 of the "same" item in the store on several occasions and seen the difference in calories/fat. Lots of manufacturers are hopping on the "all-natural" bandwagon and trying to reduce fat content. FWIW, I've seen the calories go both ways (too high and too low) on tons of items in the DB. I just make sure to verify and then enter in what I have in front of me if it's different. That way I'm always covered. :)



LDHAWKE
SparkPoints: (19,069)
Fitness Minutes: (1,818)
Posts: 771
4/30/13 5:11 P

I have not had this problem. When I have the package in front of me showing the NI information and I select the product to log in, I always verify the information and it has always been correct.
But there may be several choices to choose from. If you choose what some other user has entered then yes, it could be off. For instance, if I choose "Lean Cuisine Sesame Chicken posted by user LDHAWKE" it may be different than "Lean Cuisine Sesame Chicken."(which tells me that is the actual NI information on the product). Be careful what you choose.

If I can't find what I am looking for then I choose the option to enter my own information and copy it directly from the info on the package.



MEGAPEEJ
Posts: 732
4/30/13 4:47 P

I've wondered this too and I'm glad someone else brought it up. I work in a grocery store so I know how often individual products reformulate/change packaging (it's not that often), and the last 9 out of 10 items I checked that were entered by other sparkers were all underestimated by 10 calories (while every other number was correct) - and when there were multiple entries by various people, they are ALL off.

I don't know if everyone is trying to skew their numbers a bit or what, but it's frustrating that 50 people can enter the same product, and I have to enter it AGAIN because the numbers are wrong.



REGINA_PHALANGE
SparkPoints: (17,197)
Fitness Minutes: (5,128)
Posts: 681
4/30/13 4:29 P

I've noticed this and wondered the same thing too. For me, it happens the most with coconut water and frozen meals. I agree it's annoying, and I've thought about reporting it as incorrect, but then I wonder if it's on purpose as a "just in case" buffer.

I saw a news story a few months ago where they examined the actual calories in "diet foods" and found that common nationally-sold brands can sometimes be as far off as 100 calories, especially in low fat ice cream (Weight Watchers, Healthy choice, soy ice creams, etc).

I've come to the conclusion that either people are trying to account for those possible extra calories or the sparkpeople labels are just out-of-date.



DLIONALUM
Posts: 388
4/30/13 3:50 P

When I enter a food that was originally entered by another member, I click the little button that shows nutritional information. If it's not what I'm seeing on my package, then I keep clicking other entries until I hopefully find one that matches mine. If not, I'll just go with the closest one. :)



VIRGOGURL4
SparkPoints: (42,737)
Fitness Minutes: (72,257)
Posts: 1,424
4/30/13 3:48 P

I've been using the Nutrition Tracker for more than three years, and I've noticed the same thing recently. I've noticed that it tends to be with food entered by other SparkPeople members. It only happens with a handful of items, so I just go with the flow. My daily calorie range is 1,400-1,500, so as long as it doesn't alter my calorie count by more than 50, I'm fine with it.



JAMIE68117
SparkPoints: (3,735)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 58
4/30/13 3:26 P

I do live in America- so it still remains a mystery for me! haha But yes, I definitely favorite the correct ones when I find 'em. I also prefer to favorite ones that go by grams- I have a food scale and it makes it way more convenient when I don't want a full serving, or if I want just a little extra. :)



BUNNYKICKS
Posts: 2,296
4/30/13 2:53 P

I frequently find the calories on packaged name-brand foods to be off by just a little - and I have concluded that this is because most of the Spark entries are for American versions. The formulations of various products, from salad dressing to spaghetti sauce to vindaloo paste can vary by country, even when sold with the exact same name under the exact same brand label.

So, I either find a user-input entry that matches my own bottle, and then "favorite" it, or I input the item myself....




JAMIE68117
SparkPoints: (3,735)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 58
4/30/13 1:56 P

I just don't have the time to enter in alllll the information for each item I eat. Calories sure- but I like to have all that other info too.

I'm not necessarily looking for a solution. I know if it bugs me I can take the time to re-enter the info. I'm mostly just curious about why everything is 10 off. Has anyone reading this double-checked the calorie counts, and not noticed what I'm noticing?

I'm wondering if it's just a coincidence that all of the foods I eat are like this, or if everyone is experiencing this? My guess would be that most people don't double-check the calories when they seem to be "about right".

It wouldn't confuse me if things were all off randomly. 10 higher here, 15 lower there, etc. It's the fact that each item is exactly 10 over. It's really odd! I'm not complaining and saying, "somebody fix this for me". I'm just wondering what other people's experiences are because I find it really odd.



BLBST36
Posts: 349
4/30/13 1:41 P

If you are using the package to compare, why not just enter what you are holding? Then it's accurate.

If you are using items entered by other users, there is no telling where they get their information.

If it is items by sparkpeople, then I will repeat that it may be formula changes in the product itself that just hasn't been updated in the food database.

For both the reasons above, if I have the NI, I will enter my own foods. Then it is my responsibility if I don't update it with the changes or if it is incorrect. BUT - if it is my stuff, I can update it to be accurate and current.



JAMIE68117
SparkPoints: (3,735)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 58
4/30/13 1:12 P

Yeah it could be the formulation changing- but I'm having a hard time believing that such a large number of the foods I consume would have all changed by exactly 10 calories?!



JAMIRBLAZE
Posts: 813
4/30/13 12:38 P

It may be that the formulation of that product has changed. I have noticed that at least three products' nutritionals have changed over time. I just enter them manually, and use my own data for my calorie calculations.




JAMIE68117
SparkPoints: (3,735)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 58
4/30/13 12:26 P

Hello! I've noticed that whenever I decide to track my calories on Sparkpeople- the calorie amounts are often 10 more than what the package says per serving. Has anyone else noticed this, or know why this might be? I'm wondering if maybe companies are now allowed to round down or something? Or if users input an extra 10 calories on purpose for some reason? It's odd that it's consistently 10 off.

I know 10 calories isn't a lot- but over the course of time it adds up! Sometimes I just say I ate like .9 of a serving or something to get the calories to be accurate- but it's annoying having to do the math for each item. I also don't like the idea of having to resubmit nutrition info for each item I eat- that gets way too time consuming!

And you know how more than one person can submit the nutrition facts for an item? I will seriously click on like 5 different ones for an item and they'll all be 10 off!!! It's just so bizarre?!

It's getting to be like 80% of the time for me that things pop up inaccurately?!



 
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