Consumer Friendlier Nutrition Labels

Healthy Food Choices in Schools March 26, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

The FDA recently proposed a new Nutrition Facts label, representing the first overhaul since 1990. The new Nutrition Facts label is based on consensus reports, national survey data, Dietary Guidelines recommendations and citizen petitions. Manufacturers will have two years to make the changes once the FDA ruling goes into effect. The changes proposed to the label can be grouped into two categories: (1) design, and (2) content.

Design:

  • Calories and servings per container will be bigger and bolder to attract more attention.
  • Daily Value (DV), which highlights the nutrient content of the food item within the context of a 2,000 calorie daily diet, will move to the left side of the label
  • “Amount Per Serving” will be changed to specify a more realistic amount that is appropriate for the food in the package.
  • The footnote showing Daily Values at two different calorie levels will be removed. The FDA is still considering options for what to place here to help consumers better understand how a food item fits into the total daily diet.

Content:

  • Added Sugars will be a new sub-category under Sugars so consumers will know what sugar is naturally present in the food and what has been added.
  • Calories from Fat will be removed from the label because research shows that emphasizing the type of fat is more relevant for making health decisions.
  • Vitamin D and Potassium will replace Vitamins A and C on the label because many people don’t get enough of these health-promoting nutrients in their daily diets.
  • For larger food packages, there will be two columns of nutrition information; one showing amounts for one serving and the other showing amounts for the entire package.

Contributor

Paula Quatromoni, DSc, MS, RD, Boston University 

Source

For more information please visit the FDA’s website: Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label


 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.