Have you ever gazed at a product’s Nutrition Facts label, confused and wondering…what does this all mean?
Perhaps you have noticed that nutrition facts labels on some products have taken on a new look. You see larger, bolder words, new information, and information that seems to be missing.
Changes to the Nutrition Facts label are on the horizon. The hope is that these changes will help you understand the label better, and help you make informed decisions about the foods you buy and eat.
The new law requires the following changes to the label by January 2020. This means you will see more and more of them over the next several months.
Five Key Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label (refer to the picture below)
1. Servings and serving size
The number of “servings per container” and “Serving Size” will appear in bigger and bold type. Serving sizes will reflect what people actually eat and drink today. For example, the serving size for ice cream was 1/2 cup and will change to 2/3 cup.
“Calories” is now big and bold, making it easier for you to see it at a glance.
“Calories from Fat” has been removed because research shows the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount.
4. Added Sugars
A very welcome change! With the current label, it is difficult to determine how much of the sugar in a product is natural and how much is added. And research shows that too much added sugar is associated with higher risk of chronic disease. “Added Sugars” in grams and percent Daily Value (%DV) will be required on the new label. In addition to sugar, this includes sweeteners like corn syrup, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, and concentrated fruit juice.
5. Vitamins and Minerals
The vitamins and minerals that are required on the label have been updated to reflect what most Americans need to focus on. Vitamin D and potassium are now required because Americans do not often get the recommended amounts. Vitamins A and C are no longer required since deficiencies of these vitamins are rare today. In summary, Vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium must now be listed.
For more information about the new Nutrition Facts label, visit: www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm