We've had nutrition labels for quite some time. So. What's the big deal about the FDA's newly proposed labels? It's all about change.
Our current nutrition labels leave the typical consumer confused. Manufacturers have been messing with us. They've twisted serving sizes to fit their own needs. Small bottles of soda list 2 ½ servings per container. One packaged muffin, 3 servings. Huh? Who shares? With smaller serving sizes, the manufacturer is able to declare lower calories, grams of trans fat, sodium....or whatever is deemed "evil." Lower in "bad things" should mean better sales. Only dedicated label readers with good eyesight can see what's really going on.
The new FDA system requires that the calories per serving be clearly displayed in bold font, thus discouraging caloric denial. Not that any one of us could be guilty of that. And, serving sizes will be updated to be closer to what people actually eat instead of what they should consume. One muffin instead of ⅓ of it.
A package that could be eaten in one sitting will be asked to list nutritional info per serving and per package. But... Emotional overeaters and binge eaters may need the nutritional info on all size bags. I mean, really. Who's to say what size package could be eaten in one sitting?
And finally, added sugars and naturally occurring sugars will be clearly distinguished on labels. Definitely a positive change to help us lower our intake of processed foods with added sugars. I'm all for this one.
But the big question: will the new labels work? The big, bold calories will definitely be noticed and heeded by many, much as the calories on restaurant menus have. As for the rest of the changes, it's all about education. We are what we eat, so we'd better start examining those nutrition labels to see what indeed we are really made of!