FDA changes nutrition labels to reflect current serving sizes

Photo Credit: Vanderbilt University

The Food and Drug Administration announced they will be making some changes to the nutrition labels we currently have on the food regulated and sold in the United States.

The changes proposed are not much different- they will still be in the same white rectangle, but the FDA hopes they will help reflect the way we eat today. This will be the first major update to nutrition labels since they were introduced in the early 90s.

Some of the changes include:

  • Calories being emphasized with a larger and bold type.
  • Added sugars will not be included, because Americans only get on average 16% of their daily calories from added sugars.
  • Updates to serving sizes that better reflect what people eat, rather than what they “should eat”
  • Updates to % Daily Values, which are also shifted to the left of the label.
  • Amounts of VItamin D and Potassium would be required on the label.

To read more about the changes, click here.

Jessica Leighton, Ph.D., senior nutrition science and policy advisor in FDA’s Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, said, “The goal is to make people aware of what they are eating and give them the tools to make healthy dietary choices throughout the day.”

changes to nutrition label

Courtesy of The New York TImes

These changes have come along after some complaints about nutrition labels and how we present different foods were brought up. In May 2013, the National Consumers League filed a formal complaint with the FDA, urging them to change the way we categorize food so people can make healthier food choices.

I think this is a good move on the FDA’s part. The fact is we don’t have the same dietary needs as we did in the 70s and 80s, which the original nutrition label was based off of. It will hopefully make it easier for Americans to make healthier choices in their diet.

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