There's exciting news from the FDA this morning -- they have finalized a new, updated Nutrition Facts Label that will be going on packaged foods across the U.S.
Food manufacturers will have to use the new label by July 26, 2018, though some smaller manufacturers will get an additional year as a grace period. The FDA hopes to offer lots of support to these manufacturers, conducting lots of educational efforts and other forms of outreach.
According to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D. “The updated label makes improvements to this valuable resource so consumers can make more informed food choices – one of the most important steps a person can take to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity.”
So, what exactly are the changes? Here's a simple guide...
The new label will highlight calories and serving size in a more obvious way than the original label. This on its own is a huge win for consumer understanding of processed foods.
In addition, serving size is required to be a closer reflection of typical servings eaten by Americans, in order to provide a more realistic indication of the calorie impact of the food. There will also be "dual column" elements of this label so that information can be listed both by serving and by package. This will provide a more accurate reflection of the total impact of the food.
Another update included in the latest version of this food label is new daily values for food elements like dietary fiber, sodium, and vitamin D. This update will bring those numbers to the new standards set forward by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
A brand-new addition to this label is an articulation of the actual grams of vitamin D and potassium, in addition to their % DV. According to a press release from the FDA, "The % DV for calcium and iron will continue to be required, along with the actual gram amount. Vitamins A and C will no longer be required because deficiencies of these vitamins are rare, but these nutrients can be included on a voluntary basis."
Another addition to this version of the label is a list of the grams and percent daily value (% DV) for added sugars. Most people need to reduce their added sugar consumption, limiting it to 10% of their daily calories. With this update to the label, that will be easier to do.
Here is how they compare side by side:
New food label as compared to old food label
The FDA's press release also states "For packages that are between one and two servings, such as a 20 ounce soda, the calories and other nutrients will be required to be labeled as one serving because people typically consume it in one sitting."
For more information about this exciting new change, check out the sites below...
- FDA Press Release: FDA modernizes Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: New Nutrition Facts Labels to Feature Added Sugars, with Daily Value
- New Label: What's Different Infographic
- Marion Nestle Food Politics Update
And here are a few of the Nutrition Facts label PowerPoint shows, updated just this minute with the new label information...
New Food Label Vinyl Banner and Banner Stand 26" X 62"
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Finally, here are some other resources that can help you look your very best, right now!
We will have new materials about this update very soon and are already working on brand-new educational resources. Stay with us -- we'll keep you in the know!
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.