How do nutrition labels even work?

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I have a bottle of flavored water (0.68 cents at Wal-Mart, because I’m worth it) and it has 3 servings. If you drink 1 servings worth, you get exactly 0 calories and 0% everything else. But if you drink all 3 servings, you get 10 calories and about 10mg of sodium. How is that possible? I know there’s sometimes really small amounts of things like sodium, but isn’t that usually denoted as “<0%”?

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If an item has less than five calories in it, it can be listed as “zero calories.” In your example, the drink likely has about three calories per serving or something like that.

Basically, it’s all round numbers, and the rounding can be weird sometimes.

They can round down. That’s why they divide the serving size arbitrarily in a container that in no way signifies when you’ve hit a serving. It’s intentional deception to make you judge it the same as plain water (plus some people may be more likely to buy if they see a column of 0s)

The FDA also allows anything under 1 gram of sugar to be labeled sugar free. Tic tacs actually have half a gram or so of sugar per tic tac, which is substantial for the serving size!

Anything under a certain amount can be left off the nutritional label. This is why ketchup doesn’t list cockroaches as an ingredient, even though they regularly end up in the batches.