The Checkup: Would New Food Nutrition Labels Help You Eat Better?

I think not—but maybe I'm just too cynical

The Institute of Medicine, an organization that advises federal agencies on issues of medicine and health, recommended yesterday that the Food and Drug Administration and USDA start using an Energy Star-like rating system on food packaging to make consumers more easily aware of what they’re eating, nutritiously speaking. The front-of-the-package label would issue a zero-to-three-points score, depending on a food’s trans and saturated fats, sodium and added sugars; if the item contains too much of any of these, it would get no points. The nutrition labels you’re used to would still remain on the back of food packaging for consumers who want even more information.

So what do you think? Would bigger, bolder, and perhaps more easily understood nutrition info keep you from, say, eating an entire sleeve of Oreos? Or do you think consumers already know what they should and shouldn’t be eating but choose to eat the Oreos, anyway?

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