CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (May 20, 2013)--Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C., think they can do a better, more up-to-date job than the government of finding out what people eat and how many calories are in the diet.
They're creating a gargantuan map of what foods Americans are buying and eating and it shows people may be consuming more calories than they think.
The researchers say government data can lag behind the rapidly expanding and changing food marketplace.
Part of the uniqueness of the database is its ability to sort one product into what it really is through thousands of brands and variations.
Take 2 percent chocolate milk, for example.
UNC researchers, using scanner data from grocery stores and other commercial data, found thousands of different brands and variations.
The results show that the chocolate milk has about 11 calories per cup more than the government thought.