The FDA is updating the nutrition label found on all the food we buy. The FDA wants to update the information on the label to clear-up consumer confusion the agency believes is contributing to the nation’s obesity problem. The current label contains ingredients and product-specific information (serving size, calories, and nutrient information) as well as a footnote on Daily Values and recommend dietary information. The FDA offers guidance online but otherwise consumers are left to decode the litany of information for themselves when shopping.
There are several changes under consideration. These include more accurate serving sizes. Under current regulations for example consumers may not be away that a bottle of soda or a bag of chips actually reflect three or four servings. Other changes will place a greater emphasis on calories and a diminished role in the daily percent values for fat, sodium and carbohydrates. Calories of course being targeted as a means to maintain weight.
The FDA cautioned that the changes won’t be a sweeping overhaul. Many experts aren’t surprised given the strength of the food lobby and what some view as a “cozy relationship.” Still the food nutrition label has come a long way since its inception in 1992. Prior to that Americans were left reading a tiny subscript of ingredients and shooting in the dark about making healthy choices. Future changes could go further to identify how ingredients are processed and to clarify uncommon ingredients (those on the list that are even hard to pronounce), but those will come slowly with time. Until then what are your thoughts on the new nutrition label?
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