Will Clearer Food Labels, Make Healthier Choices Clearer?

Changes to U.S. food labels could give consumers clearer information to make smarter decisions. Back in February the FDA proposed to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaging foods to reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease.  The roll out from the government has been accelerated and a lot of that may have to do with First Lady Michelle Obama who says, “let’s move and eat right.”

Proposed New Label

This major makeover could include the calorie count in a much bigger font, as well as a new category showing added sugars, often referred to as “empty calories.” Potassium and vitamin D would be declared. Vitamins A and C would no longer be required, but may still be listed.

But the most striking change would come in serving sizes. Updated serving size requirements would reflect the amounts people currently eat. An 8oz soda is what is considered a single serving now, but when is the last time you bought an 8oz soda? New 12oz and even 20oz would be considered a single serving and you would get the full calorie count. Ice cream now is a ½ cup a serving, but we eat about a cup on average so that would be the new acceptable serving size. Currently ½ a muffin is consider a single serving, but who eats half a muffin? The new serving size would be the whole muffin, and the same with bagels and toaster pastries. Yogurt however would go down. Currently 8oz is considered the single serving but we eat the 6oz cup so it will be reduced.

The new label is aimed at helping people manage calorie intake and cut sugar intake. The overall hope is the new labels would help consumers to eat healthier.

This change would affect over 700,000 labels, changing nutrition labels on just about everything you buy at the grocery store. You could see some labels in the next year and it could be mandatory in the next 2 years.

The FDA wants to make it easier than ever before for consumers to make healthier and informed choices that will support a healthier lifestyle.

For more detailed information go to FDA News Release.