Center for Health Policy

FDA Proposes Changes to Food Labels

1393464007000-XXX-FDA-Nutrition-Labels-249The Food and Drug Administration unveiled changes to food labels at the White House Thursday. Among the proposed changes in what FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg calls “new and improved, more user friendly” labels:

• Calorie counts will be in bigger, bolder print than other facts.
• Grams of added sugars, whether they come from corn syrup, honey, sucrose or any other source, will be shown in one number.
• Serving sizes will reflect portions people typically eat, as shown by studies — meaning they will be bigger than serving sizes are now on many products. Therefore, foods and drinks that people typically consume in one sitting — such as 20-ounce bottles of soda — will be labeled as single servings.
• “Calories from fat” will be gone, while total fat, saturated and trans fats remain, reflecting science showing the type of fat people eat is more important than the amount.
• Labels will list vitamin D and potassium instead of vitamins A and C, reflecting shifting concerns about common deficiencies in American diets.

The main question is whether the changes will actually lead more consumers to read and use the information to eat fewer calories and watch their consumption of everything from sugar to sodium and fiber.

You can read the FDA’s proposed changes here.