New US nutrition label

America’s proposed new nutrition label

The White House and FDA has announced a long-awaited proposal for updated nutrition labels. Here’s a comparison of the existing one and the new… [Click graphic to enlarge]

There’s a 90-day period during which the public can weigh in with their opinions, but if the new labels go into effect, calories will be bigger and bolder, the amount of added sugars will be listed, servings sizes will reflect more realistically the amounts that Americans are actually eating, and the totals per package.

The graphic is a comparison of what the current US nutrition labels look like (left) and what the new labels could look like (right), while the one below details what has changed.

New US nutrition label

New nutrition labels are a “step in the right direction”

While the new labels alone won’t curb the obesity epidemic, public health experts have applauded the FDA’s new nutrition label rules and design

The US government’s proposed changes to nutrition labels are an important and positive step, and could even spur food companies to give consumers healthier options, but the changes are only part of what’s needed to stem the obesity epidemic, public health experts say.

The FDA’s plans to update nutrition labels to better reflect the latest nutrition science, and the growing understanding of the link between diet and chronic diseases, the agency said. The changes include making more realistic serving sizes, and including “added sugar” amounts on the label. [New Nutrition Labels: 5 Big Changes to Look For]

The proposal comes as a growing number of Americans say they read nutrition labels. About 54 percent of US consumers said they read these labels “often” in 2008, up from 44 percent in 2002, according to FDA statistics. Experts generally reacted positively to the proposed labels.

“I don’t think we can oversell the Nutrition Facts panel as the end-all-be-all of getting people to eat more healthfully, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction,” said Dr Jason Block, an assistant professor of population medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Experts especially liked the idea of changing serving sizes on products that could be consumed in one sitting, so that the whole product is considered a single serving. For example, under the proposal, both 12- and 20-ounce bottles of soda would be considered one serving, because people usually drink the whole bottle in either case, the FDA said…..

Scientific American: Read the full article