You are standing in an aisle at the grocery store and reach for a bag of your favorite chips. You decide to look at the label to see how unhealthy this snack really is. You turn it over and see that it is 180 calories per serving. You think to yourself that 180 calories are not that bad, so you throw the bag in the shopping cart and proceed to checkout.
Unfortunately, this is the routine that many Americans follow. They glance at the calories but forget to take into account the serving size. That 180 calories were probably for so many ounces which may equal 10-20 chips.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to change the nutrition facts label so it would be easier for consumers to realize exactly what they were eating. Listed below are some of the changes that have been made to the new nutrition labels.
Bold Fonts- One of the most prominent changes to the label is that the number of calories appear much larger with a bold font. The serving size will also be in a larger and bolder font than before.
Different Vitamins- The FDA decided to add the exact gram amount of Vitamin D and Potassium, because many Americans are missing these vitamins in their diets. In correlation, the new label will no longer be showing the amount of Vitamin A and C because most Americans are receiving a sufficient amount of these vitamins in their diets.
Added Sugars- This new section has been added to make it easier for consumers to understand how much of the sugar in the food is added, and how much of it is natural sugar. Foods like cookies and candy have a ton of added sugar and foods like fruits and vegetables have a lot of natural sugar. It is very important to know the difference between the two. Natural sugar in moderation is good for you, and added sugar is never good for you.
Multi-Serving Products- For the foods that are meant to be eaten in multiple sittings, i.e., a gallon of ice cream, a bag of chips, a box of cereal, there will be two columns on the label. One column, stating the nutrition value for a serving size, and the other column will state the nutrition value for the whole container.
These are the most prominent changes that are being made to the new nutrition facts label. There are a few other minor changes, such as the message at the footnote and the actual amount declared but these seem less obvious. Hopefully we will start seeing the new label soon, because most manufacturers will be required to have the new label printed by July 26, 2018. It will be interesting to see if the new nutrition facts label will influence Americans’ outlook on nutrition.