For some, it will seem as bad as the horse-meat scandal. And speaking of horse meat, how many calories are contained in it, exactly? If we've all been wolfing it down, shouldn't we be told how much of our daily intake it is worth? Just 38 calories per ounce, as it turns out, compared to a whopping 71 calories per ounce of beef steak. Hooray!
So that is the good news. The bad news is that, according to nutritionists, calorie levels printed on food packaging are a load of old cobblers. They are worse than a load of old cobblers - they are "wildly misleading", said the nutritionists speaking at the annual meeting of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science earlier this week.
As they have it, our food contains "invisible calories" - listen, as a thousand men and women scream in fear - lurking in places we would never imagine. Namely in fibre, which nutritionists say is not included in manufacturers' measurements of energy levels. What an irony that it should be the most bowel pleasing of nutrients that comes back to bite us on our not-inconsiderable bottoms, eh?
Furthermore, the advice on food packaging apparently fails to account for whether or not the item is raw, cooked or processed. This can affect calorie levels by up to 30%. Did you know, for example, that we use less energy digesting things that are cooked than those that are raw? And if it is difficult enough counting the calories that we know about, how can we possibly start to count the ones we don't?
But before you lie down on the floor of the breakfast cereal aisle, beating your "healthy" high-fibre muesli box against the ground, consider this. Calls to three leading supermarkets revealed that they do include fibre in their calorie guidelines - they have done since rules were introduced by the European Commission last year - and that the processing of a food is indeed reflected in the calorie count.
In other words, we are not being lied to by our supermarkets, after all, or at least, not any more than we previously thought we were. The "wildly misleading" ones here seem to be the nutritionists.
And that is what sticks in the throat like a particularly tough slice of horse meat. Trust is at an all-time low - not just with food manufacturers, but with so?called food experts, too, who seem no more clued up about what we eat than Britain's dithering Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, is. The blind seem willingly to be leading the blind, telling us one day that red wine will help us live longer, and the next that it will give us all cancer. Advice is so contradictory that, were we to try to digest it all, we would be forced to live off nothing at all.
In their desperation to "inform" the consumer, supermarkets and nutritionists have ended up doing the opposite. Matters are not helped by the existence of a diet industry that - perversely - is successful entirely because it is a huge failure. If the Atkins diet actually worked, we wouldn't need the Dukan, and if that really led to long-lasting health benefits, what use would the 5:2 be to us?
In his brilliant book In Defense of Food, the writer Michael Pollan argues that what we consume is not actually food but "edible foodlike substances, no longer the products of nature but of food science. Many of them come packaged with health claims that should be our first clue that they are anything but healthy. In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion." The more we fret about nutrition, Pollan adds, the less healthy we actually become.
Fat taxes, calorie counting and faddy diets are all well and good, but when we indulge in them we do not solve the problem of obesity - we just complicate it further because we avoid using our common sense.
Since the year dot, people have fed themselves without the help of nutritional guides - in fact, it is only since the introduction of them that we seem to have got into this flabby, flatulent mess. So if we want to be truly healthy, it is not the experts we should be listening to, nor the supermarkets. It is, ironically, ourselves.