FDA and Michelle Obama Unveil New Nutrition Labels
The updated labels are intended to be easier to read and understand.
If all goes according to plan, nutrition labels will be getting a big makeover, thanks to a proposal issued by the US Food and Drug Administration and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Yesterday the FDA announced its proposal to update the Nutrition Facts label in order to better reflect the latest health and dietary research and allow consumers to make healthier food choices. “You as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family,” Obama said in her announcement at the White House.
If the proposal gets approved, it would be the first time the labels have been updated since 2006. The Nutrition Facts labels first appeared on food packages 20 years ago.
The proposal is the First Lady’s latest efforts to prioritize healthy eating as part of her Let’s Move! initiative, which recently celebrated its four-year anniversary.
Here are some of the major changes proposed by the FDA:
• Include the number of grams of added sugar
• Increase the font size of number of servings per container and calories. The serving size requirements will be updated to reflect how much people actually eat today.
• Include information about certain nutrients the US population typically does not get enough of in their diets, such as potassium and vitamin D. Vitamins A and C will no longer be required on labels.
• Remove “calories from fat,” as “research shows that the type of fat is more important than the amount,” the FDA wrote in its proposal.
The changes will not go into effect immediately. The FDA is accepting public comment on the proposal for the next 90 days.