Proposed Food Label Revisions

Food LabelsThis past month the FDA proposed several significant changes to the standard food nutrition label which appears on roughly 700,000 packaged foods.

One of the more noticeable changes would be an emphasis on calorie counts, with bigger/bolder calorie numbers. Related to this, serving sizes will be altered to represent what most people actually eat. As an example, a serving size for ice cream is currently set at a half cup. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the amount that I usually eat for dessert. The new label would use a serving size double that, or 1 cup for ice cream.

Another important proposed change is to add a new label line that lists “added sugars”. The idea here is to differentiate between those sugars that are naturally found in food from the refined (added) sugars that food manufacturers add to products.

Here is an article on NPR’s “the Salt” website that covers these changes in more depth, including a side-by-side comparison of the current and proposed labels.

For the grocery industry, this is something to keep an eye on over the next several months, as the debate over the FDA’s proposed changes begins.