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New and Improved Nutrition Labels

Author: Cara Walsh

September 08, 2014

New and Improved Nutrition Labels

Author: Cara Walsh

September 08, 2014

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed to make significant changes to the current nutrition label on all packaged foods. For years, health experts have been pushing for this change. The proposed label will better reflect current portion sizes and the latest scientific information, such as the link between diet and chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease.

Some changes to expect:

  1. The FDA is requiring information about the amount of “added sugars” to be added to the label. Even though the FDA has not made any recommendations for limits of daily sugar intake, we all know that Americans are simply having too much of it. The American Heart Association recommends six to nine tablespoons of sugar per day, max.
  1. Calories per serving go BIGGER and BOLDER. The larger font will make the calories per serving really hard to miss. Making the nutrition label easier to read may have a positive impact on obesity and public health.
  2.  New serving size requirements will better reflect how much Americans currently eat. We’ve all seen it. The claimed “single serving” bag of chips that really has multiple servings will now be required to present calorie and nutrition information for the “whole” package. By law, serving sizes must be based on what people actually eat, not on what people “should” be eating.
  1. Calories from fat will be removed.  Research shows that “the type of fat is more important than the amount”.  Total fat, Saturated fat and Trans fat amounts will still remain on the label.

The redesigned label is not approved yet but if it is passed, the food industry will have two years to comply with the new label design. The FDA and many health experts believe that the new changes will make it easier for Americans to make better choices to support a healthy diet.

For more detailed information visit http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm387418.htm

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