Wake Up Call

Nutrition Labels Get a New Look and Some More Information

The eventual revamp of nutrition labels on food packaging has been rumored for a while now, but the wait is finally over. The layout and design of the new label is subtly different from the old labels, but it emphasizes healthy eating directives that both the FDA and first lady Michelle Obama have been trying to implement over the past few years. Serving sizes, caloric content, and sugar content are the biggest changes, along with other important changes to make the labels more representative of how people consume products.

See Also: Nutrition Fact Labels Are Going to Get a Makeover

You can get a full list of all the changes made to nutrition labels on the FDA's website, and one of the most important changes concerns serving sizes. If you're like us, eating a quarter-cup of ice cream or a handful or two of potato chips is vastly unrealistic. The new labels reflect current eating habits by increasing serving sizes to fit what people actually eat. The caloric content also is far more prominently displayed in the new nutrition labels.

A new "Added Sugars" category under the regular "Sugars" category will help clarify how much natural and additional sugar is in any product. Other changes include adding potassium and Vitamin D percentages, as well as removing the "Calories from Fat" category. According to the FDA, the type of fat in a product, like "Total Fat," "Trans Fat," and "Saturated Fat," are more pertinent information than the amount of calories from fat in a product. Daily values for sodium and dietary fibers also have been updated on the new labels, and the percentages of all daily values have been changed to be aligned to the left to be read more easily.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch