According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults (34.9%) are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. It is no wonder, then, that staying fit and healthy are two major concerns in the United States.
But what can be done to help out with these issues? For starters, FDA approved nutrition labels can make a tremendous impact on educating the public. In fact, the FDA is proposing to amend nutritional labeling regulations for grocery store foods and dietary supplements to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices.
Out with the old and in with the new!
The FDA is restructuring labels to make nutritional information easier to read and, ultimately, more prominent. Servings and calories are going to be larger on the nutrition label, helping consumers understand exactly how many servings are in a box, package, or container of food. With the calories printed larger and more clearly, consumers will have no choice but to notice the caloric amounts. So, let’s just say that there are eight servings per container of a certain food, and each serving has 230 calories. The wise and health-conscientious consumer would know better than to eat the entire container, which would ultimately come to a whopping 1840 calories – basically, almost the average person’s caloric intake for the entire day.
In addition to this, the %DV will be displayed first. Total amounts will also be declared, with a new footnote to come.
Another interesting aspect of these FDA proposed labels is that new mandatory nutrients will be included, such as the following:
Let’s not forget to mention that listing Vitamins A and C will be voluntary on these new FDA labels.
Serving sizes will also now reflect real-world serving sizes as opposed to outdated serving sizes. Packaging will also make a difference: for example, a 12-ounce and a 16-ounce drink will both become one serving.
These new FDA labeling practices can help us out as a society tremendously. Making the serving size more prominent and printing calories in big, bold letters can reinforce the actual caloric intake we could potentially consume, therefore allowing us to think twice before eating an entire box, package, or container of food.