The FDA's Proposed New Nutrition Labels Won't Make You Skinny, but They're a Start
Can you see the calories now!?
Last week the Obama administration and the FDA released the new proposed nutrition label set to replace the version that's been in place since the '90s. The FDA will accept feedback on the labels for 90 days.
The most obvious change is the calories value is printed significantly larger than the rest of the information. It calls out boldly in Helvetica Black: "Hey stupid! This cupcake will make you fat!"
The new label also adds percentage of daily value so you don't have to pull out your calculator to determine how this afternoon's cheesesteak will impact your plans to safely face-plant in a pot of macaroni and cheese later this evening.
Perhaps the most impactful change is the measures to control the definition of a serving size. Did you have a bowl of frosted shredded wheat this morning? How did those four lonely biscuits at the bottom of your bowl look? Or when was the last time you sat down on the couch to watch Top Chef and ate a quarter of a cup of ice cream?
The new labeling requires manufacturers to get real on serving sizes, so a can of Coke that you likely guzzle in one shot is labeled as one serving and not 1.5, or about 2 servings, further reducing guesswork for consumers.
Of course, food manufactures plan on weighing in on the changes. The Grocery Manufacturers Association said: "It is critical that any changes are based on the most current and reliable science," according to NPR.
The group adds that it's important to ensure any changes serve to inform and not confuse consumers. Removing the need to use a calculator to understand what these labels mean in real world terms sounds like a good start.
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