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Proposed New FDA Food Labels – Help or Hindrance?

>> Monday, May 19, 2014

The American FDA is currently in the process of revamping their nutrional labeling of food products, in order to make these labels more useful and user-friendly.  

Some of the key proposed changes:
·      The number of calories will be in a larger font
·      The amount of added sugar will be specified
·      An increase in serving size, so that the calorie count per serving reflects the amount of food that people actually eat in one serving

While I like the first two changes, I take issue to the idea of increasing serving sizes on labels.  (For example, they have suggested that ‘one serving’ of ice cream should now be one cup, rather than half a cup.)  While I agree that it’s important that the calorie count reflects what people are actually eating, I feel that this sends out the wrong message, as people often use the suggested serving size on a label as an indicator of the serving size they should be eating.  We know that portion sizes have grown by 300-400% over the last 30 years, to the point where the typical serving size is way oversized – to put these oversize portions on labels risks encouraging servings to be larger, rather than the size they actually should be.

I’m keen to hear feedback about this – please feel free to comment online (click on the little envelope at the end of this post) – for subscribers, click on the link in the title of your subscription email and it will take you there.

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Heide May 20, 2014 at 7:59 PM  

I like the same things that you like with the new labels. I think they will be easier to read. I also feel that the portion size should not be increased. If I really want to eat more I can increase the size and figure out the new calorie count etc.

Anonymous May 21, 2014 at 5:40 AM  

Totally agree with all your comments--giving another portion size will likely be confusing and misleading!


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