FDA updates nutrition facts label on packaged goods

FDA updates nutrition facts label on packaged goodsOn May 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a major update to the nutrition facts label on packaged foods.

Two years in the making and long-awaited, the refurbished labels will help American consumers make more informed and healthy decisions on the goods they purchase, according to an FDA press release.

“For more than 20 years, Americans have relied on the Nutrition Facts label as a leading source of information regarding calories, fat and other nutrients to help them understand more about the foods they eat in a day,” said 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.”

The modernized labels will include an update to serving sizes to better reflect the amount people actually consume, a clear reading of grams and a percent daily value for “added sugars” and listings of potassium and Vitamin D levels. Perhaps most notably, the calorie listing will now be in much larger type than the rest of the label, making it hard to miss.

According to the FDA, serving sizes have to be based on actual consumption, not ideal consumption, by law.

The nutrition facts label, found on more than 800,000 products, has not been updated since it was originally implemented in 1994, reported the Associated Press. First lady Michelle Obama echoed the good news in a speech early Friday morning as part her “Let’s Move!” campaign.

The food industry has been granted two years to comply to the new standards.

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