# Mountain Dew calorie question

I usually only drink diet soda, but the vending machine was all sold out today, so I had to drink regular Mountain Dew.

A glance at the 20 ounce MD label indicates that one “serving” is 8 ounces. Each serving has 110 calories. Thus a 20 ounce bottle, at 2.5 servings should have a total of 275 calories, right?
(110x2.5=275).

I don’t see this on the link, but the label on my bottle says 110 calories per 8 ounce serving, 290 calories per 20 ounce bottle.

So…? Where did the extra 15 calories come from?

I would say from rounding. They are allowed to round, that is why some diet soda has ZERO calories and some have 1 calories. Depending on how your round up or down.

I don’t buy it. Why would they round to a number that contradicts their previous numbers?

I assume they give the numbers of calories to the nearest 10.

If 8 ounces had 114 calories, they’d round this and list it as 110.
But 8 * 2.5 = 285, which would round to 290.

IF it had 114 it would be rounded down, then at 8X it would equal 285 which is then rounded up to 290.
All this rounding stuff sounds like Christian logic to me (no flame intended. I truly appreciate the posts).

In fact, as silly as it sounds to myself, you both may be right on. I rattled off an email to them, but seeing it’s the weekend it may be a while until we get an answer. I’ll post back when they reply.

But in either case they would be rounding to the nearest ten. (If you object that 285 is equally near to 280 as to 290, you can tweak my example so that 8 ounces have 114.5 calories, or 114.1 calories. ) Since calories aren’t discrete units, and anyway there are limits to how precisely they can be measured, they’d have to be rounded somehow.

But it still doesn’t make sense to me that they wouldn’t use the figure for the serving size. Why wouldn’t they just list it as 275 calories? (110x2.5)

I dont know much about counting calories–but I do know one thing about Moutain Dew ®:
That stuff is vile !!.
Sickly sweet, plus it’s color is disturbingly unappetizing. Maybe they figure that anybody who buys it is too dumb to try to catch mistakes in the calorie count ?
(mods–sorry for being snarky in GQ–but the question has been answered. And I’m still shuddering from bad memories of the one and only time I ever drank Mt. Dew)

Where’d the 15 calories come from? The bellhop put 'em in. He got them from the 3 guys in the room upstairs.

Because the rule is to always save your rounding for the final step. You don’t round off your intermediate results before doing further calculations with them.

If you really want to pursue the topic further, you can read up on roundoff error, and the related topic of false precision.

They also don’t want to “just list it as 275 calories” because that might cause some people to not buy their soda because of the calories. Most people would just look at the label, see “110 calories” and think that was for the whole bottle. Deceptive labelling at its finest.

My understanding is that the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 requires standardized serving sizes to be reported on nutrition labels. I don’t believe that the manufacturer has any choice on this, although they may be able to list on the side that “the whole container contains X-number of calories” (I’ve seen this on some microwaveable soups, where the normal serving size is set at approximately half the container).

If anyone’s trying to deceive anyone, it would seem to me to be the FDA.

Nah. The 290 is right next to the 110 on the label. Even Magoo wouldn’t miss it.
I just happened to have too much time on my hands to do the math.