Here’s What the FDA Wants New Nutrition Labels to Look Like


The Food and Drug Administration just released a mockup of what nutrition labels could look like under the agencies new proposals for food labeling. The label above, on the left, is what we’re all used to seeing; the one on the right shows what labels might look like if the proposed changes gain approval.

So let’s play a quick game of Photo Hunt: What about the right picture is different from the left picture?

Give up? Here are the biggest changes to note:

• Calorie counts receive greater emphasis. Like, they will NOT be ignored. Certain nutrients, like vitamin D and potassium, will now be included and receive more emphasis with bolder fonts. Listings for vitamins A and C will no longer be required.

• Servings per container are easier to see and understand. The rules also recommend changing some serving size requirements—it would affect about 17 percent of products on shelves—”in an effort to more accurately reflect what people usually eat or drink,” according to CNN. So a 20-ounce soda would not have a serving size of eight ounces, because who stops drinking at eight ounces? That’s just dumb.

• Added sugars are specifically called out. This is to help people get a handle on exactly how much extra sugar they’re taking in. Groups like the American Heart Association recommend limiting the amount of added sugar you take in on a daily basis.

• Some daily values are adjusted. Under the new proposal, values for things like sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D would be tweaked. (Less sodium and more dietary fiber and Vitamin D, if you’re wondering.)

• “Calories from fat” is gone. Why? Because A) Have you ever really know what that means, anyway? Didn’t think so., and B) Dieticians say that the type of fat you’re eating matters more than the calories coming from fat. So, as per the proposed changes, saturated and trans fats will remain, but calories from fat would get nixed.

The FDA released its mockup of the new nutrition labels this week, with the backing of the White House and, specifically, First Lady Michelle Obama.

The agency will now open it up for comments for 90 days, during which time they’ll take your feedback on the new labels. Then, presumably, they will issue a final rule, and manufacturers will be given two years to comply to the new labeling requirements.

As CNN reports, “This is the first overhaul for nutrition labels since the FDA began requiring them more than 20 years ago.” What do you think? Are they better, worse or same difference as the old ones? Share in the comments.

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