It’s finally happening! It has been talked about and delayed more times than I can count or even remember, but the Nutrition Facts label is finally getting a much-needed update. You might ask yourself, “ Why are they changing the Nutrition Facts?” In short, the label hasn’t been updated in many years, and it doesn’t truly reflect realistic portion sizes in many cases.
The FDA is requiring the upcoming changes based on updated scientific information, new nutrition and public health research, and input from the public. Even though most people don’t like change, I think the updates to the label will be helpful to many people to make healthier choices.
According to the FDA, there will be six fundamental changes that will help improve the Nutrition Facts label.
1) Serving Sizes:
"Servings per container,” “serving size,” and “calories” font will be larger and bolder in type
Serving sizes will now reflect the reality of what we eat and drink
Companies that produce larger packages that can be consumed in one or more sittings must be labeled both “per serving” and “per package.”
Packages that are larger than what most people would eat in one sitting will not require the dual column. This includes foods with more than three servings (a “party size” bag of chips or a 2-liter bottle of pop
4) Added Sugars
“Added Sugars” in grams and as a percent Daily Value (%DV) will now be required on the label.
Added sugars mostly include sugars that are added during the processing or packaging of foods; they’re not naturally occurring.
Listing the amount of “added sugars” is an important change. Research shows that it is challenging to meet our nutrient needs (while staying within calorie limits) if we consume more than 10% of our total calories from added sugars.
Naturally occurring sugars (such as from fruit) are not harmful for our health.
Potassium and Vitamin D are now required on the label since Americans are more likely to be deficient in these nutrients than many others.
Vitamins A and C are no longer required on the label because deficiencies of these nutrients are rare.
The actual amount (in addition to the %DV) must be listed for vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.
These changes will be occurring the start of 2020 (you might even be seeing them on some food products now) and I cannot wait to see them roll out. I genuinely believe that this change was needed and think that it will make it easier for consumers to make better-informed food choices that support their diet.
Read more about the changes here!