Britons under report calorie intake by 50%?

We were tweeted by a Hueler with this interesting article.

Men are consuming 3,119 calories a day, not the 2,065 they own up to; women are consuming 2,393 instead of the 1,570 they confess to

But why is this? I can’t believe that all the people surveyed were openly lying about their calorie intake. Is it lack of education about the amount of calories in food? Do we just not realise when we’re eating? Something else?

Would be interesting to hear your thoughts as pretty nutrition savvy people.

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Two things I guess - Firstly, guestimates. Hm the default serving in MyFitnessPal for these creamcakes is 100g, I’ll just log it as that rather than weigh what is more than likely a 300g cake.

Secondly, the calories in drinks, particularly alcohol, fruit juice and the milk in tea.

The average number of brews per day in the UK is 2, 50ml of milk in each, there’s 100ml of semi skimmed milk (because who drinks skimmed - white water? :p).

Everyone loves a glass of orange juice with their breakfast. Perhaps a pint? Easy 200 calories right there.

Hard day at work? Come home, do your chores and sit on the sofa with a pint, it’s only one so no need to log it. Boom, 200 extra calories.

I heard this on the news this morning; people are underestimating the equivalent of a cheeseburger a day.

FWIW I think portion sizes have been on the increase, and people often have no idea how many calories are in every day food. People also eat a lot more takeaway foods and these are notoriously high in calories.

Apparently those who eat more are also those likely to underestimate.

Alongside this, many people are more sedentary in their lifestyles now; all this added together is not great news for the average person; 2/3 of whom are now overweight.

I think labels are to blame, they have nutritional values but mislead by having sometimes incredibly arbitrary portions of food for their front matter. I’ve just grabbed the nearest food to me, a Go Ahead yoghurt slice with 2 slices in the pack. The nutritional information gives values “per slice”, not the whole packet. I’ve seen some really hard faced things like this, where you might buy something that is ostensibly “single serving”, a small cake or chocolate bar for example, and it’ll claim the “recommended serving” is half the product. I think this gives a perception that products are lower calorie (etc) than they really are.

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All evolved intelligence has a tremendous capacity to convince itself of
whatever it needs to believe even when faced with contradictory data, hence
the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance. Excluding outright abuse &
exploitation, cognitive dissonance & ego explain most fucked up social
constructs. We’re constantly trying to divest ourselves of responsibility
for our actions.

tl;dr: Evolution is flawed & all sentience is destined to destroy itself.

I can think of a few reasons…

a) Booze. Put away a “few” pints most nights… that’s an extra 1000+ calories every day right there. That’s before it becomes “just one more”, and then a kebab / pizza / whatever on the way home from the pub.

b) Portion sizes / ingredients - especially when eating out. Your average bacon, cheese and everything-else double burger and triple cooked chips at the local gastropub sure tastes nice. As does a take away curry complete with starter, side dish rice and naan. It’s not the same as an inevitably smaller version at made home.

c) Crap food - Huel aside and using me as an example my diet isn’t great, often leading me to snack between meals as despite the calorific content I end up hungry. There’s another few hundred calories.

Add in a large Latte or two and forget 1500/2000 calories a day.

As a man who is trying to gain weight but seems to be physically incapable of eating as much as 3000 calories a day, this absolutely blows my mind. I seriously struggle to hit my c.2600 calorie target on a workout day even when I’m trying and cooking the largest portion sizes I can handle! What are these people eating to hit 3000 calories every day without noticing!?

I think a big part of the answer lies in what a few people in this thread have brought up: liquid calories. They go down almost without noticing them. Most people probably don’t realise that a pint of beer is like a loaf of bread. But this is one of the main appeals of Huel to me: because it’s liquid, it’s easy to consume even when I don’t feel hungry. I can eat a regular meal then wash it down with another 500 calories of Huel as if it’s nothing.