New Nutrition Labels

December 18, 2018

The Nutrition Facts label is receiving its biggest update in two decades. At first glance, the new label may not seem all that different, but if you look closely you’ll notice that it’s been improved to provide more helpful nutrition information that realistically reflects the way we eat today.

As these labels are phased in by 2020 you can expect to see more user-friendly labels appearing on food packages everywhere.

We’re breaking down the changes to the new nutrition label:

1. Servings

The number of “servings per container” and the “Serving Size” declaration have increased and are now in larger and bolder type. Serving sizes have been updated to reflect what people actually eat and drink today. There are also new requirements for certain size packages, such as those that are between one and two servings or are larger than a single serving but could be consumed in one or multiple sittings.

2. Calories

“Calories” is now larger and bolder, making the updated calorie figure more prominent and simpler to read.

3. Fats

Calories from fat has been removed due to research that indicates that the kind of fat we eat is more important than the total amount.

4. Added Sugars

“Added Sugars” in grams and as a percent Daily Value (%DV) is now required on the label. Added sugars includes sugars that are either added during the processing of foods, or are packaged as such, and also includes sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. Scientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar.

5. Nutrients

The lists of nutrients that are required or permitted on the label have been updated. Vitamin D and potassium are now required on the label because Americans do not always get the recommended amounts. Vitamins A and C are no longer required since deficiencies of these vitamins are rare today. The actual amount (in milligrams or micrograms) in addition to the %DV must be listed for vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.

6. Footnote

The footnote at the bottom of the label has changed to better explain the meaning of %DV. The %DV helps you understand the nutrition information in the context of a total daily diet.
Source and photo credit: FDA.gov

Tags: 2020, label laws, nutrition facts, nutrition labels

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