Look Out For These Changes On Your Food Labels
You will soon be able to decipher more out of the ‘nutrition facts’ label on your food box, courtesy a bunch of new amends. These changes will highlight the added sugars and calorie count of the food item.
“You will no longer need a microscope, a calculator, or a degree in nutrition to figure out whether the food you’re buying is actually good for our kids,” Michelle Obama said while announcing the new rules on Friday. She also added that people who’ll benefit the most are parents.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had initially suggested these changes a few years ago. These tweaks are the first to be introduced in the label post their introduction in 1994 and currently feature on more than 800,000 food items.
With a shift of focus from ‘fat’ to calories, the need to throw the light on the latter has become more important; and that is exactly why the new labels will now feature the calorie count in a bigger and bolder text. Here’s what the proposed label looks like:
The reason why experts have vouched for the ‘added sugar’ snippet is the simple fact that consumers should be aware of the natural sugar content of a food and the amounts added over it. This too comes with certain standards, which advice not consuming more that 10% of calories from added sugars, that is, 50g or 200 calories.
Additionally, the label also flaunts a “percent daily value” for sugars. This essentially tells the consumer how much of their daily sugar intake will come from the food they are about to eat.
“The new labels should also spur food manufacturers to add less sugar to their products,” Michael Jacobson, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said, adding that as of now it’s impossible for consumers to know how much sugar a rational diet should cumulate.
Another major change that can be spotted is the serving size. Indicated at the top, this is aimed at providing a better idea of how many servings are in a container.
With a whole lot of revised calculation, this number will be based on actual – not ideal – consumption of the eatable. For example, a serving size of ice cream will now be pegged to on average consumption of 2/3 cup. Formerly it was a half a cup. In the case of bigger boxes (a pint of ice cream), there will be two separate columns – one will show serving information; the other is for the whole container.
Other Vital Stats
Apart from a clearer data on serving sizes and sugar, the nutrition labels must also feature levels of potassium and Vitamin D, nutrients Americans don’t get enough of. Vitamins A and C are no longer required but can be included. Iron and calcium stay.
Basically, all you need is one of these new labels and a calculator to plan out just the right amount of calorie intake for yourself! Neat.