The FDA's Proposed New Nutrition Labels Won't Make You Skinny, but They're a Start

Categories: Food News

fda-label-splice.jpg
Can you see the calories now!?
Last week the Obama administration and the FDA released the new proposed nutrition label set to replace the version that's been in place since the '90s. The FDA will accept feedback on the labels for 90 days.

The most obvious change is the calories value is printed significantly larger than the rest of the information. It calls out boldly in Helvetica Black: "Hey stupid! This cupcake will make you fat!"

The new label also adds percentage of daily value so you don't have to pull out your calculator to determine how this afternoon's cheesesteak will impact your plans to safely face-plant in a pot of macaroni and cheese later this evening.

Perhaps the most impactful change is the measures to control the definition of a serving size. Did you have a bowl of frosted shredded wheat this morning? How did those four lonely biscuits at the bottom of your bowl look? Or when was the last time you sat down on the couch to watch Top Chef and ate a quarter of a cup of ice cream?

The new labeling requires manufacturers to get real on serving sizes, so a can of Coke that you likely guzzle in one shot is labeled as one serving and not 1.5, or about 2 servings, further reducing guesswork for consumers.

Of course, food manufactures plan on weighing in on the changes. The Grocery Manufacturers Association said: "It is critical that any changes are based on the most current and reliable science," according to NPR.

The group adds that it's important to ensure any changes serve to inform and not confuse consumers. Removing the need to use a calculator to understand what these labels mean in real world terms sounds like a good start.

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19 comments
Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

doubt the new labels will reach the target audience

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

re:  "face-plant in a pot of macaroni and cheese "

I love the imagery.  LOL

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

The problem with the daily value percentages is that they are so wrong as to be dangerous.  When the USDA decided that everyone needs to be eating a bunch of starch (which is still the basis of the DV calculations) is when the obesity epidemic started.  That is not a coincidence.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

In this country we capitulate to the dumb, the below average. We are a country of "do nothings" that fill our valuable free time with lonely Facebook posts, and lame video games that cripple hookers........(clap clap, clap).  Congratulations America, we are that country now, we went from captains of industry, to titans of freedom, to the greatest generation, only to be tackled at the one yard line by a fat, soft machine that needs giant f+cking letters to figure out what, and what not to eat. 

Rusticle
Rusticle

I have a feeling that most obese people don't pay too much attention to the Nutrition Facts.

dallas_paul
dallas_paul

The only change here is the font size for calories. The old labels had all the daily value percentages, nothing ad(d)ed to the new graphic.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The only change for the better is the calories content font size.  Saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium are important numbers for me.  The jury is still out on dietary cholesterol and its role in raising blood cholesterol, with the current thought being that only diabetics need be concerned about the cholesterol consumed from food.

Rusticle
Rusticle

@dallas_paul They also added in a line for "Added Sugars" to note extra sugar not naturally occurring in the food, which would be helpful for fruit based products. Scott must have overlooked it. Also, the change to serving size rules is a big deal, it will make the listings more reflective of their actual values.

dallas_paul
dallas_paul

@Rusticle The change for more realistic serving sizes was made when they implemented the revised labels years ago (I recall that was a big issue back then also). If they're updating those numbers then it's an incremental change, nothing as dramatic as profiled here.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@scott.reitz  Not necessarily.  The sat fat in the burger can raise blood cholesterol, but the cholesterol (different from sat fat) in an egg yolk has little effect raising blood cholesterol, unless you're diabetic.  This according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

@scott.reitz @Twinwillow @whocareswhatithink  It's been removed. Note where it say's "This comment has been deleted" above my original comment.

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