Confused about food labeling?
You’ve likely seen the announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed changes that we’ll see popping up on our food labels. What does it mean?
Our diets have changed since the nutritional panels were introduced about 20 years ago so the FDA has decided to require updated labeling on packages to reflect these dietary changes. Announcing these changes are the first step, they will then need to be approved and it might take a few years before you see them on food in your grocery store.
So what is going to change?
- An update of serving sizes. The labels will more accurately reflect the serving sizes that people actually eat. Currently, the serving size on labels shows the recommended amount for people to consume, but not necessarily the amount we do consume.
- ‘Amount Per Serving’ emphasis. You are used to seeing the ‘Amount Per Serving’ on the label but the number of servings in each package will be emphasized for clarity.
- Changes in calorie labeling. You’ll see the calories on the label will be in a larger, bold font. ‘Calories from Fat’ will no longer be listed.
- Total Sugars vs. Added Sugars. The label will now read the measurement for (total) sugars and added sugars separately.
- Differences in Nutrients / Vitamin labeling. Potassium and Vitamin D will now be listed on the label, but Vitamin A and Vitamin C will no longer be required. The Percent Daily Value on the label will be updated to help consumers understand how this food will fit into their overall diet.
Announced on February 27th, the proposed changes will have a 90-day comment period, giving food companies some time to evaluate how this will affect them. After these proposed changes go into effect, it may take up to two years for new labels to hit the shelves.