Before going into the new year, you may have missed some of the most significant changes made to the Nutrition Facts Label this past year. On your next visit to the supermarket, you may want to reexamine the label of your favorite food products. Admittedly, the chaos that 2020 brought upon the world it may have been be easy to overlook the changes made. However, research continued to flow, and the findings were enough for the FDA to make the changes. Throughout this post, the most major changes will be identified and detailed.
With the most natural concerns falling on the total calorie count for most looking at the label, the changes made to this section are most important. With priority over all other values, this section now contains the largest text font, in addition to being bolded. This makes it much harder to miss on first glance. This change has been coupled with a reconsideration of the serving size information for each food product as well. The label is still read based entirely off of the suggested serving size, so no changes there. These changes are more about giving the information to consumers to make the most healthy decisions they can.
The calories section of the label was also retooled in another significant way. Much less noticeable than the previous change, but still as important. The calories from fat section has been removed. The removal was based on new research by the FDA, where findings suggest that the makeup of a healthy diet are the types of fat that are included in each food product. Now the new label includes the total amounts of saturated and trans fats per serving. Similarly to these changes, more trackable nutrients were added to the label as well. Vitamin D and potassium have received their own sections as the typical American does not consume enough of these nutrients daily.
Another change that was made was largely beneficial to parents in particular. A new addition to the label comes in the form of added sugars. This section now identifies the amount of sugars added into the production and packaging processes of these food and drink products. Most notably, there are products marketed toward children that appear to be healthy, but with this new section of the label have been proven to be predatory. With this information, it’s much easier to discern between the healthy and unhealthy products for children. The same can be said for adults as well though! It’s just as important regardless of age to avoid large amounts of added sugar for the sake of a healthier diet.
The FDA will always prioritize changes that make the label both easier to understand and more effective in guiding a healthier lifestyle. These changes are a great step in both directions. For more information regarding the most recent changes made to this label, in addition to potential upcoming changes, be sure to review the infographic coupled alongside this post.
Author bio: John Hinchey is VP of Sales for Westfalia Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of logistics solutions for plants, warehouses and distribution centers. He has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and warehouse automation.