FDA Unveils New Food Nutrition Labels


The FDA has decided to up its game and require new food labels that better reflect the reality of today's food ingredients and their implications for our health. U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving food labels a makeover in an effort to help consumers be better-educated about the foods they consume.

The new labels may begin appearing on some packaged foods as early as November, 2018, as some food manufacturers begin putting the changes into place. By 2020, food manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual sales will be required to display the new labels, and by 2021, smaller companies will need to include the new label format on all food packaging. Until these deadlines, you may see both the original label and the new label on food packaging.

The changes include:

  • More realistic serving sizes: The new label will base serving sizes on what people actually consume. For example, a pint of ice cream will now be one serving, not two, and this will be reflected in the calorie and other nutritional counts on the label.
  • Sugar: A quick glance at the new nutritional labels will reveal how much added sugars are in foods. This new information has been included to align with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends that people get fewer than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugars.
  • Calories from fats: In one of the most significant changes from the old labels, the new labels will no longer list calories from fats. Research has found that the type of fat is more important than calories from total fats. For example, vegetable and nut oils can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Calorie counter: The new label will list calorie information in a larger, bolder font. By highlighting the calorie count, the FDA is attempting to call attention to the link between obesity and heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes and stroke.
  • Vitamins A and C are out: The FDA has discontinued the inclusion of Vitamins A and C on nutrition labels, opting instead for Vitamin D and potassium. While manufacturers can still voluntarily include Vitamins A and C, the FDA finds that few Americans are deficient in these. Instead, many Americans do not get the recommended daily amounts of Vitamin D and potassium.
  • Percentage points: The new FDA-required labels now include an explanation of the % Daily Value that explains how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a recommended daily intake. The % Daily Value is intended to help consumers understand their food choices in the context of a daily diet.

Here is a video from the FDA detailing the changes you will begin to see on the new labels:


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