Do you find food labels tricky to navigate?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is worried that you do. And they want to remedy that. They have proposed a few changes to the design and content of that black-and-white food label on the back of your groceries.
Don’t fret—these changes will help, not hurt. They plan to take some aspects away, add some others, and change the design to bring attention to some more important elements of your food’s nutrition so that you know more about the content of your food with a quick glance. Here are the five things you need to know about the FDA’s food label proposition.
FDA Food Label Changes: What You Need to Know
Above, straight from the FDA’s website, is the current food label (left) and the proposed new food label (right). They look a bit different, but instead of making you spot the differences yourself, here are the main five things you need to know.
The most obvious change is in the calories. The number of calories will be portrayed in a larger, bolder font type to draw more attention to it.
However, another more important change was made to the calories: calories from fat will no longer be listed. The FDA explains that they don’t want to make it seem like they’re condemning fat, as the type of fat is more important.
Related: Top Ten Healthiest Foods
2. Added Sugars
The amount of sugar was always on the label, but now, added sugars will be included as well. The FDA says that the reason for this is that the average American eats 16% of his or her daily calories from “sugars added during food production.”
3. Serving Size
You know how candy bars often list the nutritional facts for half the bar, even though only super-humans eat only half the bar in one sitting? Ridiculous, right?
The FDA agrees. They propose that serving sizes be updated not to what the average person “should” eat, but what they actually eat.
Related: 15 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet
4. Daily Values (%DV)
The FDA feels that the %DV for certain nutrients should be updated and changed. However, the visual change you’ll see is that the %DV will be positioned on the left of the label to help you be able to visually process the information more quickly.
5. Potassium and Vitamin D
If the changes go into effect, the amount of potassium and vitamin D will always be on the label. Potassium (which helps prevent hypertension) and Vitamin D (which is important for healthy bones) are two nutrients that the FDA feels are necessary to prevent major chronic diseases.
What do these changes mean? Well, they’re not massive changes, and it will take approximately two years for them to come into effect, but they’re certainly changes for the better.
The visual changes will make it easier to spot the calories and the %DV. The removal of calories from fat and the addition of added sugars, potassium, and vitamin D will help so that you concentrate on what’s truly important about your nutrition. The update of the serving sizes, however, is perhaps the most important aspect, because the FDA is making your food labels a lot more realistic. Half a candy bar? Yeah, right!
If you’d like to read and comment on the proposed changes, visit http://www.regulations.gov/.
Photo by Vox Efx