The Nutrition Facts Label proposal has finally been announced! As we mentioned before, this will be the first major change in decades for these iconic labels.The FDA hopes these changes will address public health issues like obesity, heart disease and diabetes by providing more realistic information. Using new technology and a better understanding of health issues, the FDA believes these labels will help consumers make better decisions and understand more about what they eat.
Here are the major changes proposed:
Bigger and Bolder Calorie Count
The FDA proposes that the calorie count be one of the boldest and most prominent lines on the label by using larger text.
Food manufacturers will no longer be required to list calories from fat since nutritionists say that information isn't as important.
Added Sugar Line
As we predicted in our last post, the FDA would like to add an additional line under sugars for "Added Sugars." These reflect the amount of sugar added in addition to the natural sugars in the product.
Vitamin D and Potassium Listed
The proposed label will require food manufacturers to list the amount of Vitamin D and potassium.
And finally, the biggest change to the Nutrition Facts food label is serving size. As we mentioned before, the serving size information was determined in 1990. The FDA proposes that the serving sizes be based on what is typically eaten by consumers today. This means food like ice cream could jump from half a cup to a full cup.
Also, some foods may require two labels. One that lists the Nutrition Facts per serving size and one that lists the facts of the entire container. This will make calorie counting simpler.
The FDA believes that the less math the consumer has to do the more time they have to understand the label and hopefully make healthier choices. There are several studies that show that people who regularly read Nutrition Facts labels are healthier. The purpose of this label is to inform the customer.
How Long Will It Take to Change
There will be a 90-day comment period for experts and members of the public to give their input. The FDA will then issue a final rule after the 90-day period. At that point, manufacturers will have two years to implement the changes.
If you have any questions about nutrition labels or any other food labeling, talk to one of our Label Experts.