We've mentioned it before, but in case you didn't know, we'll tell you again: The serving sizes you see on food packages today are actually based on data gathered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1970s and '80s. As you can imagine, that data is outdated and so are the Food and Drug Administration's guidelines based on it. At least that's what experts have been saying for years.
The good news is these outdated labels are going to see change soon.
The FDA sent new guidelines for nutrition labels to the White House, but the details haven't been released yet. But that hasn't stopped industry experts from speculating about what the changes should be.
One of the popular suggestions is that serving sizes should be listed in a unit people are more familiar with. Currently, food labels list ingredients in grams, the basic unit of measurement of the metric system. Others say an important change will be the differentiation between types of fats, given that we now know that saturated and trans fats are more dangerous than others.
Other changes that health experts hope to see include the addition of the percentage of whole wheat to prevent labeling products with only a small amount as "whole wheat" and putting labels on the front of food packages.
We'll cross our fingers that the new labels will take a design cue from those created by San Francisco visual designer, Renee Walker, who won a food label design contest put on by the University of California-Berkeley School of Journalism in 2011.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.