Quantcast
Latest Stories

The Consumer

Read the fine print to know what you’re getting

By

Contract and insurance policies are not the only things that should be read carefully, especially the fine print.

In an article for Women’s Health, Amy Paturel, a public health expert, noted that manufacturers tended to “bury a product’s fact panel and ingredients list on the back or side of the package, while filling the front with such eye-catching words as sensible, smart and healthy.” She said, while the claims might sound good, they were often misleading.

She cited studies at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Laboratory that showed that consumers tended not to read very carefully the actual number of calories in foods if packaging had words such as “low-fat.”

As a result of this misreading, people tended to eat more of the product, thinking they were getting fewer calories. “Cookies, for instance, were thought to have 40 percent fewer calories just because the word organic was printed somewhere on the label,” Paturel said.

Paturel quoted Marisa Moore, a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, who said some people with high cholesterol levels might eat food labeled as having no cholesterol. But Moore said the food might be filled with sugar or saturated fat, which could increase cholesterol levels.

Paturel pointed out that labeling problems still existed in the United States despite the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act passed in 1990, so our problem may be worse.

I am not aware of a similar law in the Philippines. I wonder how factual the labels of local food products are.

Speaking of fine print, a friend, who travels frequently, always makes sure he has medical insurance coverage before leaving the country just in case an emergency arises requiring medical attention. The insurance also covers dental services. In previous trips, he returned home without availing of the insurance coverage

On a recent trip, however, he had to seek the services of a  dentist to replace the filling in a tooth. He very willingly paid the bill of more than $100, confident he could get a refund from the insurance company. You can probably guess what happened next.

He was told the procedure was not covered by his insurance. Of course, he protested. After several months of hemming and hawing (he filed his claim in June), the insurer told him a couple of weeks ago he would finally get reimbursed for the dentist’s fee.

I am sure many readers can relate to this story. I guess it is not enough to just read the fine print. You have to ask questions, too, and have everything you do not understand explained in plain and simple terms.

Easier access

People who use Messy Bessy cleaning products because they are made primarily from organic materials will be happy to know they are now available in Robinsons Supermarket. In the past, although I liked using the products, I often had to get more popular brands that were primarily synthetic chemicals because Messy Bessy items were available only in a few places, all of them not easily accessible to me.

Now I do not have to worry about where to get fresh supplies when I need them.

Free BlackBerry

Globe has bundled a free BlackBerry Curve 9220 into its My Super Plan 299 package, which also comes with a P99 BlackBerry Chat subscription, for a total of P398 a month. My Super Plan 299 is an all-consumable postpaid package.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Amy Paturel , BlackBerry , Insurance , Insurance policies , Nutrition Labeling and Education Act



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Tagle to Napoles: Be honest and return the money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Obama rejects notion that trade deal is in danger
  • [VIDEO] No assurances on Janet Lim-Napoles’ bid to become state witness
  • South Sudan president fires long-time army leader
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
    Marketplace