The New FDA Nutrition Labels

Finger on Nutrition LabelBy Emily Murray

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has announced the first massive changes for nutrition labels in over 20 years. The recent push to emphasize better health practices has prompted the FDA to highlight things like added sugars, calories and serving size.

The label will highlight important information like this in larger, bold writing so that the consumer can more accurately judge whether or not they should be choosing packaged foods and drinks that contain high amounts of unhealthy ingredients or sugar.

Think about the last time you bought a back of chips or perhaps a 20 ounce soda. You may have just assumed that the nutrition information was for the entire container or bag. This is because currently the serving size is listed but in relatively small writing. This will soon change.

Another change will be removing the “calories from fat” line to focus instead on the total calories you will consume in each serving. This is based on nutritionists opinions that it’s not necessarily important the type of calories you are consuming, it’s more important to focus on the type of fat you are eating.

When it comes to the current labels, it’s challenging to see what sugar is added and what occurs naturally. This will be another change imposed by the FDA. Labels will specify how much has been added vs. how much was there naturally.

Other changes include updates to the daily amounts for some of the nutrients listed and serving size adjustments. While the announcement was just made, don’t expect to see many of these changes at the grocery store right away. Companies have two years to change their labels to comply with the new guidelines.