John Stossel

 Right. If the label said that blueberry muffin had 645 calories, some people might not buy it.

 None of the food companies that used the deceptive labels would talk to me about this, which is too bad because I'd love to know how an olive company came up with 1.5 olives as its serving size. A jar of smaller olives, which lists 14 as a serving, seems a lot more honest. Who would ever eat 1.5 olives? The folks we talked to at the mall wouldn't. "What, are you going to throw away half of it?" one woman asked.

 If you like pickles and want one serving, you might have to throw away a piece of pickle, too: A jar of Vlasic Polish dill pickle spears lists three-quarters of a spear as the serving size.

 People commonly eat three or four pickles as a snack, yet Tim Baker, who owns New York's Guss' Pickles, says that a spear is a quarter of a whole pickle. So if you eat three-quarters of a spear, "you only get three-quarters of a quarter of a pickle."

 So carry a calculator, or practice your arithmetic. If you do the math, you can choose your fat and calorie intake based on the facts about real portions.

 But as usual, letting the government do the work is a good way to make bad decisions. Did you really think federal regulations were going to make something easier to understand?

 Give Me a Break.

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate