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New Regulations Change Food Labeling Game

By Res-Q editor June 16, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

How often do you read the labels on food packaging? If you’re like most Americans, you glance at the information and go on your merry way. Unless you’re a disciplined label reader, you likely don’t take time to do the math of package size versus serving size, which can be two very different things.

That’s about to change. The Food and Drug Administration is mandating changes to nutrition labels that will make them easier to understand.

So, what can you expect? The label will look similar at first glance, but when you look closer you will find:

  • Serving size must match typical consumption. For example an 8 ounce juice container, which is typically consumed in one sitting, must reflect the calories and nutrients of the entire container as the actual serving size.
  • A larger type size for calories, servings per container and serving size
  • Vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium levels will be accurately and clearly marked on the new labels
  • Calories from fat will no longer appear, but total fat, saturated fat and trans fat will remain
  • Daily values for sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D will be updated to reflect new scientific evidence
  • Added sugars (in grams and percent daily value) will be included

The goal of the new label is to make it easier for consumers to make educated decisions about which foods (and how much!) they choose to eat. Large manufacturers will need to use the new label by July 2018. Smaller companies have an extra year to make the change.

The image below, courtesy of the FDA, provides a comparison of the current label (shown on the left) and the new label (shown on the right).

Comparison of old and new food labels

Posted in: The Res-Q Blog
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