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Weight Watchers, Ben & Jerry’s, Arctic Zero Have Up To 68% More Calories Than Labeled [REPORT]


We’ve got DIET ICE CREAM GATE on our hands.

As consumers, we’re supposed to be able to trust nutrition labels, especially when on a calorie-restricted diet. There should be no doubt whatsoever that the nutritional content is accurate, right? Eek, not so fast. At least when it comes to low-calorie desserts.

MSNBC’s Rossen Report recently put 9 different major diet ice cream brands — including Ben & Jerry’s, Weight Watchers, Skinny Cow, and Arctic Zero — through a blind laboratory test to measure the actual caloric content per serving.1

What they found was rather, ahem, startling. Three of the products actually had FEWER calories than the labeled claim; the Skinny Cow Cookie & Cream Truffle came in 3% lower; the Stonyfield Farms Minty Chocolate Chip was 4% lower; and the Ben & Jerry’s Froyo Half Baked was 5% lower than advertised. And then it went downhill.

  • Ben & Jerry’s Froyo Chocolate Fudge Brownie — 8% more, or 57 more calories per pint
  • Stonyfield Farms Créme Caramel — 10% more, or 52 more calories per pint
  • Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Sundae Cone — 13% more, or 18 more calories per cone
  • Weight Watchers Ice Cream Candy Bar — 16% more, or 22 more calories per bar
  • Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple — 46% more, or 69 more calories per pint
  • Arctic Zero Chocolate Peanut Butter — 68%, or 100 more calories per pint

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Upwards of 68% — that’s an issue. Arctic Zero, the product I raved about a few weeks back, recently responded on their official Facebook page with a picture of their own individual lab results, confirming the advertised 150 calories per pint.

I don’t have a magic lab of my own to test the TRUE calorie content and I honestly don’t know what to take as gospel in this case. What I do know is this — DON’T FREAK OUT.

The lofty percentage numbers make the implications for Arctic Zero overblown. Realistically we’re talking about a discrepancy of 50-100 calories for an ENTIRE PINT. You shouldn’t be eating an entire pint in one sitting anyway. Case-in-point. I still feel comfortable recommending Arctic Zero as an extremely healthy, low-calorie, high protein, low sugar dessert — it’s just not as untouchable as once touted.

Quite frankly, my biggest concern here lies with the FDA. The FDA legally allows manufacturers to underestimate advertised calorie counts by as much as 20 percent to “account for variation in portions”. TWENTY PERCENT. In an era when dieters meticulously gauge calories down to the single digit, this can derail even the most “precise” nutrition journal.

I’ll repeat what I’ve advocated for so long — calories are NOT the end-all, be-all for weight loss. First and foremost, build a diet grounded on foods with high protein and fiber, low sugar, and healthy fats. Calories should always be in the back of your mind, but shouldn’t drive your dietary decision making. Indulge, in this case with Arctic Zero, in moderation.



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Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  1. — Rossen Reports: Can You Believe Diet Frozen Dessert Labels? []
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