The FDA is proposing to update the Nutrition Facts Label found on most food packages in the United States. The current label is 20 years old and was developed to help people make informed food choices. If the new changes are adopted they would put a bigger emphasis on understanding nutritional science, serving size based on package size for certain packages and a new design of the labels.
Understanding the nutritional science behind the food label would include:
- Information about “added sugars”. “Added sugars” can decrease the intake of nutrient-rich foods while increase your calorie intake.
- Update the daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber, and Vitamin D.
- Require manufacturers to declare the amount of potassium and Vitamin D on the label.
- Remove the “Calories from Fat” category since it is more important to know what types of fats are in the foods.
Updating Serving Size on Certain Package Sizes includes:
- Changing the serving size requirements based on how people eat and drink today, not by what they “should” be eating or drinking.
- Requiring that package foods, including drinks that are typically eaten or drank in one sitting be labeled as a single serving size (ie. 20 ounce bottle of soda).
- Ensuring larger packages of food that could be consumed in one sitting would have “dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” nutritional information.
Refreshed New Design would:
- Emphasize parts of the label that are important in addressing current public health concerns (ie. obesity). Make calories and serving sizes more prominent.
- Shift the Percent Daily Value to the left so it would come first.
- Change the footnote to more clearly explain the meaning of Percent Daily Value
These are all great changes to propose. The challenge I find is in getting people to actually read the labels. You really need to know what you are putting into your body. If you are looking to lose weight you need to know the calorie content in your food. You want to be able to make an informed decision on whether that food is worth the amount of exercise you need to do to work it off. Everything is a trade off. Be informed.
You can read more about these proposed changes on the FDA website.
What are your thoughts on these proposed changes?
Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist who specializes in helping people lose hundreds of pounds. Learn more at www.FittingFitnessIn.com