Let’s talk about food baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good..
Sorry, got carried away there. I guess I’m just really excited to talk about food labels. Aren’t you?
Let’s dig in.
In May of 2016, the FDA announced that there were new rules that all food labels had to follow. These rules reflect things like new scientific information, the link between diet and chronic diseases, and of course to actually make reading food labels a bit easier. All of these are good things! You might have noticed some of these things, but I’m willing to bet you haven’t seeing that hardly a word was mentioned about them.
Highlights of the changes:
- There is a “refreshed” design. The food label largely looks the same with some minor tweaks and formatting updates. They’ve also made the most important things more obvious, which is good.
- Reflects updated information about Nutrition Science – “added sugars” will be required in grams, the required vitamins and nutrients is updated, and calories from fat is being removed because we know that eating fat doesn’t actually make you fat.
- Serving Sizes are being updated. Now, serving sizes are required to reflect what people ACTUALLY eat or drink. So, for example, a serving size of Gatorade is no longer ½ of a bottle, because who just drinks half a bottle? People always drink the full bottle, so that’s what a serving size must show. For large packages the labels will show a serving size as well as an entire container size.
Unfortunately, the only downside is that companies have anywhere between 2018 all the way through 2021 to actually get their food labels in compliance with the new rules. Alas, progress is progress and we should be happy that progress is being made in a very outdated area of public health.
For more detailed information on everything I just discussed, check out the following link: https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm