By Diana Vilibert
The nutrition label may be getting a makeover … but will its new look help you make healthier choices? That’s what the FDA is hoping. The new proposed nutrition labels will includes three major changes:
1. A more visible calorie count.
Calories are front and center on the new proposed label, set apart with a significantly larger, bolder font.
2. Larger, more realistic serving sizes.
People often underestimate how much they eat because they underestimate how many servings they’re consuming. The proposed label would feature updated serving sizes that better reflect how much people eat of certain foods—therefore better reflecting the actual number of calories they’re consuming.
3. A separate line for added sugars.
The new label will make it easier for consumers to distinguish between natural sugars (what you’ll find in fruit, for example) and added sugars (“empty calories” like candy, baked goods and sodas). Americans currently get 16 percent of their total calories from added sugars.
Here’s how the old label compares to the proposed new label:
FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. explains why they feel a change is due, stating “Today, people are eating differently—many current serving sizes, and the amount of calories and nutrients that go with them—are out of date.” She goes on to point out that the three major changes are “important elements to fighting obesity and certain other chronic diseases, and making healthier food choices.”
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