Meet the new Nutrition Facts

We have learned a lot about what children and adults need to eat well and feel good since the Nutrition Facts label came out in 1993. Based on these leaps ahead in nutrition science, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just proposed an update to the nutrition labels found on almost all packaged foods we come across in our daily lives. Some of the changes to these labels that are being considered now include,

  • Differences in which types of vitamins, calories, and ingredients are highlighted:
    • Add information about the vitamins and minerals we need most but eat least like calcium from dairy, iron from spinach, potassium from bananas, and vitamin D from some types of fish
    • Show sugar in a new light with a line about amounts of “added sugars” that do not naturally come from the foods we want to eat and that the body does not need for energy
  • Updates to serving size requirements:
    • Serving sizes would be based on portions of different foods Americans typically eat rather than how much the maker of the food would recommend that we eat so that we know how many calories and nutrients are in a realistic helping
    • See the difference with the FDA’s “Food serving sizes get a reality check” infographic
  • Easier to digest label design: Check out the current Nutrition Facts label here. Then meet the new label in the FDA’s “What’s the difference?” infographic below and to see the changes

Label-236x300

The point of these proposed label changes is to put the most important nutrition facts about each food product front and center so that when we go to the grocery store, we have all the information we need to decide what to buy for and eat with our families. So as these changes are approved and start to pop up on food bags and boxes over the next year or two, keep taking a close look at the Nutrition Facts as you pick foods to keep the family full, energetic, and strong.

(Image source: http://parentables.howstuffworks.com/)

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