Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label

Nutrition facts can be found on all packaged food items. When well understood, these labels serve as a useful tool to help us make informed decisions about the food we are about to eat. The problem is that nutrition labels are often misunderstood and for that reason, may be completely ignored.

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) passed in 1990. This act allowed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require all packaged food items contain a nutrition label. Since that time, little has changed on the nutrition label with the exception of trans fat being added to the label in 2006.

Nutrition Facts are required to list the following dietary components:

  • Calories
  • Calories From Fat
  • Total Fat
  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Total Carbohydrate
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Sugar
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron

Additional required information:

  • Serving Size
  • Servings Per Container
  • Percent Daily Values
  • Footnote

Optional dietary information:

  • Calories from Saturated Fat
  • Polyunsaturated Fat
  • Monounsaturated Fat
  • Potassium
  • Soluble Fiber
  • Insoluble Fiber
  • Sugar Alcohol
  • Other Carbohydrates
  • Other Vitamins and Minerals

In 2015, the FDA proposed several changes to the current nutrition label:

Added Sugars:

  • The new label would include the percent daily value (%DV) for added sugars. Current labels show the percent daily value for certain fats and sodium.
  • The percent daily value is the amount a serving of food contributes to the daily-recommended value for a specific nutrient. The percent daily value for sugar would be based on the recommendation that daily intake not exceed 10 percent of total calories.

Footnote:

  • The new label would change the current wording of the footnote to be shorter and to help the consumer better understand the meaning of percent daily value (%DV).

Greater understanding of Nutrition Science

  • The new label would provide additional health information about added sugars
  • Updated daily values for the following nutrients: sodium, dietary fiber, and Vitamin D
  • Amount of potassium and Vitamin D would be required dietary components listed on the label
  • Remove from the current label “calories from fat”. This information would be removed due to research indicating the type of fat is more important than the amount of fat

Updated Serving Size Requirement and new Labeling Requirements for Certain Package Sizes:

  • The new nutrition label would be required to list the serving size that reflects how much people typically eat and drink today.
  • Packaged foods often consumed in one sitting would be labeled as a single serving (i.e. a 20 oz bottle of soda would be listed as 1 serving instead of 2.5 servings).
  • Refreshed Design
  • The new label would make serving size and calories more visible by using a larger font.
  • Percent daily values would be shifted to the left so they are seen first. Current labels list percent daily values on the right of the label.

To learn more about the changes, visit the FDA’s Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label.

If you are interested in learning more, check out the following articles:

We would love to hear your opinion. What do you think of the proposed changes to the current nutrition label? Do you think they will help you make better, and more informed choices?

The proposed rules are open for comment for 90 days. If you are interested in giving feedback, visit Regulations.gov.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

Poll