Food labels may be changing

The FDA recently proposed some changes to the food label that will affect all of us.  Here is a graphic comparing the old and new labels.


My thoughts on the new label:

-Calories in a bigger font:  improvement.  This helps people find what they are most likely looking for.

-Removing calories from fat:  improvement.  The type of fat is as important as the overall caloric impact of fat, as I discussed in my meat and cholesterol post.

-The addition of “added sugars”:  improvement.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, you shouldn’t compare the amount of sugar in two foods without looking at the source of that sugar.

-The addition of potassium:  improvement.  Diets high in potassium can help reduce high blood pressure, a growing health problem in the US.

– More realistic serving sizes: improvement. Remember the pink sugar cookie that was four servings per cookie? Exactly.  Now, serving sizes should more accurately reflect what people eat in one sitting, making the information on the label even easier to apply.

-Servings per container larger than serving size:  mixed emotions.  I find this useful for small food items that you might consume in one serving, such as individually wrapped bars or muffins.  But since they are trying to list more realistic serving sizes, this change may not be entirely necessary.  It will be interesting to see.

-Percent Daily Value on the right side rather than the left:  unhelpful.  I don’t find percent daily values to be a useful tool, so making this more “prominent” doesn’t make the label any easier to use.  Others may feel differently.

I’d love to hear your comments on the proposed changes – like them, hate them, better ideas.  Even better, the FDA is accepting public comments until June 2, 2014.  Click here to read more and here to submit your comment.

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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