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New Nutrition Labels

FDA Gets Real With Serving Sizes — Do You Like the New Label?

If you've ever read a nutritional label after downing an entire bag/pint/package of food and thought, "How are there three servings in this?" the Food and Drug Administration hears you — today it announced a proposed revamp to its nutrition labeling, the first major change in the label's 20-year history.

New Proposed Label

One proposed change will be to increase servings sizes to more realistic portions. "What and how much people eat and drink has changed since the serving sizes were first put in place in 1994," the FDA said in a statement. The new labeling would be more in line with the amount people normally eat now — a serving size of ice cream for example, would increase from a half cup to one cup, and 20-ounce soda bottle would be one serving instead of 2.5.

Current Label

Other proposed changes are aimed at further clarifying what's in your food, such as:

  • Requiring information about added sugars, so consumers can see how much naturally occurring sugars and unhealthy added sugars are in a food.
  • Adding another column to the label to show the nutrition information for the entire package, in addition to info per serving size.
  • Making certain elements like calories, serving sizes, and daily values more prominent on the label.
  • Add info about certain nutrients like potassium and vitamin D. Many people don't get enough of these nutrients, which puts them at risk for conditions like osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
  • Removing "Calories from Fat," since the type of fat in a food matters more than the amount.

The FDA is still a long way away from approving any new labeling — it still needs to go through a 90-day public approval process followed by passing new regulation and enforcement, so the design and what will be included on the new label aren't final. But when the time comes, will you welcome the change, or are you happy with the current label?

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