FDA Proposes First Nutrition Label Updates Since Trans Fats Were Added
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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Nutrition labels found on the sides of pre-packaged foods will soon get an upgrade, if the Food and Drug Administration gets its way.
On Thursday, the FDA proposed a new version of the label that would, among other things, make the calorie content and serving size of foods more apparent.
The FDA says their revisions “reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease.”
The new labels would also:
- List information about the amount of “added sugars” in a food product.
- Update serving size requirements, since “what and how much people eat and drink has changed since the serving sizes were first put in place in 1994.”
- Indicate both “per serving” and “per package” information for larger packages that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.
- Show the amounts of potassium and vitamin D present in the food, since those are nutrients that the FDA says many Americans don’t get enough of, putting them at higher risk for chronic disease.
- Remove mandatory information about vitamin A and C content, though manufacturers could declare them voluntarily.
- Revise the Daily Values (used to calculate the Percent Daily Value) for a nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D
- Remove “Calories from Fat,” since “research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.”
The FDA will accept public comment on the proposed changes for 90 days.
According to a news release, the nutrition facts label has been required on food packages for 20 years, and has not undergone any significant changes since 2006, when information on trans fat became mandatory.
“Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family,” First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement Thursday morning.
“So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”
"Unless you had a thesaurus, a calculator, a microscope, or a degree in nutrition—you were out of luck" —FLOTUS on existing nutrition labels—
(@FLOTUS) February 27, 2014