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March 2, 2014

New FDA Labeling Guidelines

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 1:56 pm

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

New FDA Labeling Guidelines

Reading food labels may soon become easier. For the first time in over 20 years the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed new changes to food labels of packaged foods. The new guidelines should reflect the way many consumers actually eat. If approved, manufacturing companies will have 2 years to implement these changes. Below outlines some of the new changes.

Proposed changes:

  • The calorie and serving per container information will be bolded for easier reading.
  • The “amount of calories from fat” on labels currently will be removed.
  • Added sugars will be a new column.
  • Serving sizes will be modified to reflect what consumers may actually eat. For example the serving size of ice cream will now be 1 cup (from ½ cup), soda will be 12 oz (from 8oz), yogurt will go down to 6 oz (from 8 oz).
  • Items that a consumer can conceivably eat in 1 sitting will have the entire calorie amount of the package on the label.
  • Vitamin D, potassium, calcium and iron will be required on the label. Vitamin A and C will no longer be required as deficiencies are rare.

Pros:

  • On the new label it will be easier to see the amount of calories and serving sizes in the package.
  • Serving sizes will be more realistic.
  • There will be a greater emphasis on added sugars which may in turn dissuade consumers from purchasing more processed items.
  • It will be easier to figure out whether you are adequately consuming some important vitamins and minerals.

Cons:

  • Those who have already mastered reading the nutrition label will have to relearn the new labeling.
  • The new serving size may appear to some consumers that eating more food is acceptable. For instance those who were aware of serving size of ice cream as ½ cup may now feel that 1 cup is the correct amount to have in 1 sitting.
  • Diabetics that have been trained to look at carbohydrates and sugars on packaging may be confused by the added sugars column. Added and naturally occurring sugars will have the same effect on blood sugar levels.
  • Implementing these changes will cost manufacturing companies significant amounts of money which may in turn raise the cost of the products.

http://online.wsj.com/news/interactive/FOODLABELS0227?ref=SB10001424052702303801304579407563027523046

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