Food Label: What’s Changed?

Food Label: What’s Changed?

On the left, the old label. On the right, the updated label

On the left, the old label. On the right, the updated label

By Sheridan Jonas, Contributing Blogger

The nutrition facts label is getting a makeover. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set new requirements that will help consumers better understand the amounts of nutrients found in food products. Here’s what you should know about the changed and when you’ll start seeing them.

Cosmetic Changes
The new design of the nutrition facts label is long overdue. The calories and serving size categories are highlighted with bold and larger text. Further, calories from fat is being removed due to current research revealing that the type of fat you choose is most important. These changes will help streamline the most important information with just one glance at the label.

At the bottom of the label, actual amounts and the corresponding percent daily value for vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium will be shown.

Daily Values
The footnote at the bottom of the label is being revamped to better explain what daily value means. It now says:

“The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”

Providing daily value on the label is a quick and easy way to estimate how much of a specific nutrient you are taking in when eating a specific food.

Daily value is now also provided for added sugars, which is located under the total carbohydrates category. For the first time, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans put forth recommendations for added sugar, which should be no more of 10% of your total daily calories. This addition was added to assist you to help keep an eye on added sugar, which is sugar added into a food like sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.

Serving Sizes
The update on serving size is a welcome change as serving size requirements were last published in 1993. By law, serving sizes are based on amounts of foods and beverages that people actually consume, not what people should consume. The servings are based on the recommendations of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Additionally, serving size requirements have changed for packaged foods that are typically consumed in one sitting. These foods must provide the servings size and accompanying nutrient quantities for the full package. This change will improve awareness of the actual amount of food and drink folks consume.

When Will You See It?
July 26, 2018 marks the compliance date for food manufacturers’, however you may begin seeing the updated nutrition facts label earlier. While waiting for the latest nutrition facts panel to hit store shelves, it’s still important to be mindful of the serving size, calories, and other nutrients, in order to eat healthfully.

For more information visit the Food and Drug Administration’s page on the new nutrition facts label.

Sheridan Jonas is a recent graduate of Miami University with degree in Nutrition (Dietetics) and Premed. She works as a nationally certified group fitness instructor and teaches both kickboxing and toning. This fall she will be attending Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, IL) to complete her dietetic internship and receive a Master of Science in Clinical Dietetics.

1 Comment

Post A Comment