Posted on 07/06/2016 at 10:17 AM by Lia Bahls, RD
In May, the FDA announced they are changing nutrition labels based on new scientific information. So what exactly will be changing?
- This will now be a true reflection of the amount most individuals consume instead of a number that is often unrealistic for the general public (such as 10 tortilla chips). Keep in mind that these numbers are NOT recommendations for consumption. If you generally eat 20 chips and that is now the described serving size that does not mean that you are eating a healthy amount. This change was to serving size was to provide a more realistic view of what someone is consuming since most often, individuals won’t do the math.
- This includes showing 2 labels, per-serving and per-package, for foods that can either be broken up into a couple servings or eaten all at once if so desired (i.e. a pint of ice cream).
- Items that are between 1-2 servings such as a 20 oz. soda will now be labeled as one serving. Again, this does not mean that you should consume a 20 oz. soda. The intent is to make it more streamlined for consumers to understand.
- The number of calories will be enlarged and in bold in order to stand out to consumers.
- Calories from fat will no longer be listed on the new label. The type of fat is more important than the calorie count coming from the fat consumed (i.e. avoid trans fats, monitor saturated fats and focus on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources).
- This will be a new category listed under Total Sugars. This addition will help consumers visualize the amount of sugar that is added to the products they routinely purchase including the obvious offenders such as cake, cookies, candy and some of the not-so-obvious foods such as yogurt, some frozen fruits, and applesauce.
- Vitamin D and potassium will now be listed as gram amounts as well as percentages. This is because most Americans are not meeting the recommended values, increasing their risk of chronic diseases.
- Vitamins A and C will no longer be listed on the label due to deficiencies being rare.
When will these changes take effect? July 2018 is when manufacturers will need to use the new label by. Click here to see what the proposed new label will look like compared to the current label, which was last updated more than 20 years ago.