Calorie-conscious eaters often rely on posted nutrition information to decide what to eat for lunch, but a News 4 I-Team investigation finds that soup calories can sometimes be as much as 150 calories over what is claimed on the menu. Some soups we sampled also showed fewer calories than the menu claims. News 4 contacted all the companies for comment; some said they were pleased with their results and others pointed out that nutrition calculations can vary slightly, based on many factors.
Calorie-conscious eaters often rely on posted nutrition information to decide what to eat for lunch, but a News 4 I-Team investigation finds that soup calories can sometimes be as much as 150 calories over what is claimed on the menu.
A recent study by the American Medical Association found that the actual number of calories in foods where calories are posted is — on average — 100 calories higher than what’s listed.
The I-Team took a random sample of soups from five different eatery chains to a lab to check them out and compare the calorie information with what was posted.
Here's how the samples came out at Sani-Pure Food Laboratories in Saddle Brook, N.J.:
News 4 reached out to all the companies in the sampling. A spokesman for Chili’s said "variations in nutritional content may occur due to in-restaurant preparation, portion size variances, among other factors." The spokesman added that Chili's continuously works to reinforce its standards and train workers on preparation.
Hale and Hearty Soups said because the restaurant cooks from scratch with fresh ingredients, "inevitably, there are slight variations between each batch. The fact that our calorie number was a little high in one sample and a little low in the other only confirms this."
Quiznos said it was pleased with its results.
And Panera Bread said there are many factors in nutrition calculations, including different methods, number of samples used, volume portioning and other variations. "Our lab analysis is based on multiple soup samples in order to get a representative example of the soup so we can provide more accurate information to our customers.”
Subway did not return calls or emails.