Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 22, 2014
For the first time in 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is formally proposing changes to nutrition labels on food packages. This should help us all make more informed and, hopefully, better nutrition decisions – ultimately having a positive impact on weight management and other aspects of our health. Notable among these proposed changes are:
Bigger and Bolder Labels that Emphasize Calories and Serving Size
There will be an emphasis on ensuring that listed portion sizes reflect what is actually being consumed, rather than the amount that should be consumed. For instance, a 20-ounce bottle of soda or juice, typically finished in a single sitting, would be labeled as one serving, rather than the 2.5 servings typically listed now. In general, servings per container of any packaged item also will be highlighted on the label.
Shifting the “Percent Daily Value” Section
Shifting this section to the left of the label is expected to encourage consumers to put greater focus on getting adequate daily amounts of various nutrients. There also will be a change in the footnote to more clearly explain the meaning of “Percent Daily Value.” The relevance of this section, however, will vary widely among individuals as long as it remains solely based on a daily calorie consumption of 2,000 calories.
Separate Line for Added Sugars
Showcasing “Added Sugars” will allow one to discern between foods with natural sugars, such as dried fruits and grains, and items where sugar was added during the processing.
Revising the Nutrient Lineup
The FDA is recommending the addition of more information about nutrients that often come up short in many people’s diets, such as vitamin D and potassium. Nutrients that most people get an abundance of, such as Vitamins C and A, would no longer be listed.
What Do You Think about the Proposals?
The FDA is still accepting and encouraging public comments on the label redesign and content. To learn more or add input, go to http://www.fda.gov. After the FDA evaluates public feedback and the changes are finalized, food companies will have a grace period of two years to implement the changes.
Try this healthy recipe (with nutrition information, of course) – Heart Healthy Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.