FDA Makes Over The Nutrition Label To Emphasize Healthy Choices

The agency is proposing food label design changes to reduce confusion and allow people to determine whether a product is good for them.

The US Food and Drug Administration is proposing a redesign of the food nutrition label to make it more aligned with current realities about the way that people eat.

The Nutrition Facts label was first introduced in the early 1990′s to make sure consumers are informed of the nutritional value of food packages. The design of the label was based on nutrition data and the eating habits of the population in those times, but a lot has changed since then, including serving sizes and how much people know about the relationship between certain nutrients and the risks of disease. The FDA explains that the nutrition facts label needs to present information that can help consumers “make informed food choices and follow healthy dietary practices.”

In an article on the FDA’s Consumer Updates page, Michael Landa, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said that the proposed new label gives more attention to serving sizes and calories, which are key to addressing health problems like obesity and heart disease.

One of the key changes in the design of the label is the added emphasis on calories, which will be written in a larger, bolder typeface. Another major change that many consider controversial is the inclusion of  “Added Sugars.” The number of servings per package will also be emphasized and the actual serving size will be reflected in the “Amount Per Serving.” The FDA also proposes updating the serving size requirements to reflect what people actually eat as opposed to what they “should” eat. The redesigned nutrition facts label will also require the amounts of Vitamin D and potassium.

More information about the proposed changes to the nutrition facts label can be found on the FDA website. The proposal is also published on the Federal Register for 90 days so that people can read and comment. The FDA proposes that companies be given a period of two years to comply after publication of any final rules regarding the nutrition facts label.

FDA-nutrition-label-2

US Food and Drug Administration

Source: The NY Times

Header image: Enokson

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