The Obama administration is proposing the first major facelift for nutrition labels in two decades, something that could have a dramatic effect on what people choose to buy and eat.
The new proposed labels from the Food and Drug Administration would focus more on total calories and added sugars, reducing the prominence of fat in labels.
Here are some of the proposed changes from the FDA:
- Require information about the amount of “added sugars” in a food product. Based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans determination that calorie intake from added sugar is too high in the U.S. population and should be reduced. The FDA proposes to include “added sugars” on the label to help consumers know how much sugar has been added to the product.
- Update serving size requirements to reflect the amounts people currently eat. What and how much people eat and drink has changed since the serving sizes were first put into place in 1994. By law, serving sizes must be based on the portion consumers actually eat, rather than the amount they “should” be eating.
- Present calorie and nutrition information for the whole package of certain food products that could be consumed in one sitting or in multiple sittings.
- Refresh the format to emphasise certain elements, such as calories, serving sizes and Per cent Daily Value, which are important in addressing current public health problems like obesity and heart disease.
“Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family,” said First Lady Michelle Obama, whose “Let’s Move” initiative hit its four-year anniversary this week. “So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”
Here’s what a new label could look like, according to the FDA:
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