FDA Details Proposed Nutrition Label Changes
February 28, 2014
Updated serving sizes, more focus on calories and information about added sugars could be coming soon to the ubiquitous Nutrition Facts panel. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Thursday announced its proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label on food packaging.
The new design puts a lot of emphasis on caloric content, as well as the number of servings in a given package. Reflecting research on the importance of types of fat versus total amount of fat, the agency is dropping calories from fat from the label. Total fat, saturated fat and trans fat must still be listed.
This revision marks the introduction of added sugars; the FDA says Americans get an average of 16 percent of their daily calories from sugars added during food production. Potassium and vitamin D would also be required under the proposal, though vitamins A and C would no longer be required.
The FDA has proposed updated serving sizes to reflect what people actually eat. The reference for a serving of ice cream, for instance, will go from half a cup to one cup.
Products that had been labeled as more than one serving but that consumers likely eat or drink in one sitting (for example, a 15-oz. can of soup or a 20-oz. bottle of soda) would be labeled as one serving under the new rules. Labels must have two columns with information per serving and per package if the package contains four or fewer servings but more than two servings (e.g., a 24-oz. bottle of soda or a 19-oz. can of soup). The FDA is updating the reference amount customarily consumed for a variety of foods.
The proposed changes would become effective 60 days after the final rule's publication in the Federal Register; the compliance date would be two years after that.
Reprinted in part from MeatingPlace.com