The FDA nutrition labels have needed an overhaul for a long time. This is because new scientific information has been found. I believe that the changes will likely be for the better because the new labels will be significantly more specific.
What Do the New Label Designs Include?
Many of the changes are simply cosmetic. The visuals are changed because it allows the government to highlight important information. The number of calories that are listed on the package is now in bold font.
This information is important because the number of calories that you consume is typically what determines whether you will gain or lose fat. The caloric amount will now be the largest sized font on the label.
Manufacturers will now have to tell consumers the amounts of specific nutrients that are in food. The current labels simply list a percentage of the daily value. This isn’t an ideal measurement because different people may want to consume smaller amounts of these nutrients.
The new label also highlights the serving size. You already that you can find out the total amount of calories in a package by multiplying the caloric amount and the number of servings. People shopping in the grocery store will likely be able to read the important details a lot easier now.
Nutrition Information Gets an Overhaul
The information on the food label is obviously more important than the label’s visual design. Daily values for some nutrients like sodium are being updated. The new research regarding sodium intake has been heavily debated by scientists.
The listing of the number of calories that come from fat is being removed completely. This is because new research indicates that this information is generally irrelevant to most people.
The most important change to the new labels is the listing of added sugars. The labels now list added sugars alongside the natural sugars. This will hopefully encourage consumers to choose sources of food that only contain naturally occurring sugar.
How is This New Label Better?
All of the aforementioned reasons that are listed will help consumers make more informed health decisions. It is certainly not going to stop most people from eating ice cream and chocolate bars. Those that are looking to make healthier choices will find that the information on the new nutrition label is much easier to read.
You’ll still need to do your own independent research to determine how many calories, carbohydrates and nutrients you personally need. The nutrition facts are simply there to provide hard data on the ingredients. The science on healthy eating is continually being improved and updated.
The most interesting change may be that the serving size must now be based on the amounts of food that people typically consume in one meal. This will make it more clear that potato chips and similar snacks are full of empty calories.
The old label may break up a 6,000 calorie box of cookies into bite-sized servings. These listings may stop food suppliers from tricking consumers into thinking that they are consuming lower calories because the serving sizes are so tiny.
The Storied History of the Nutrition Facts Label
America’s nutrition labels are based on a 1968 study that determined the recommended daily amount of various foods. The nutrition label was mandated to appear on almost all foods during a controversial decision by the FDA commissioner in 1990. Meat and poultry now had to have their nutrition information listed alongside eggs, cheese, and butter.
I believe that the FDA should require all foods to contain nutrition facts. I believe this should also be a requirement for alcohol. Some people absolutely need to count calories and measure nutrients to ensure that they do not become sick.
The new labels should help you achieve your dietary goals in a much more efficient manner. I believe that the labels should continue to change based on consumer health needs and scientific data.