nutrition facts labels

Change is a good thing, right?

Change is a good thing, right?

Most recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the Nutrition Facts label a “facelift.” It’s about time for a change, since the current label is more than 20 years old! ???? These new changes are based upon new nutrition and public health research, recommendations from experts, and input from the public. Here’s the major changes you need to know about.

What will the new label look like?

The label will look generally the same…Black text with a white background, rectangular in shape, but will have a few improvements.

  • The amount of calories, servings per container, and serving size will be written in bolder, larger font.
  • Amount of “Includes ___g Added Sugars” will be included (replacing the vague term, “Sugars.”)
  • The amounts of Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Potassium contained in a food are required to be labeled. while Vitamin A and C are no longer required to be listed, but remain just as important to our health.
  • Food manufactures will be required to disclose the actual amount of a nutrient referencing to the “percent Daily Value”
  • At the bottom of the Nutrition Facts label will contain a short, but helpful footnote explaining what a % Daily Value (DV) exactly is. The old confusing description and chart is out!
  • Trans fat will still be on the label, but it is slowly being eliminated from our food supply.

Why Change Now?

The changes are based on the evidence supporting the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new guidelines highlight reducing the amount of calories from added sugars since the average American gets about 13% of their total calories from added sugars from soda, sport drinks, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, desserts, candies, etc. The standard American diet typically lacks Vitamin D and potassium according to nationwide food consumption surveys (NHANES) which associated risk of chronic disease. Vitamin D and calcium have an important role in bone health, while potassium supports a healthy blood pressure.

That’s Really Different…

The old Nutrition Facts label would state the recommended serving size you should consume. Soon you might notice an increase or decrease in serving sizes depending on the food your eating. The new serving sizes will be based upon the amounts of food and drink people typically consume, NOT on how much they should consume. The new serving sizes seem to be more realistic with common foods consumed in the American diet.  Here are some examples:

  • the old serving size of soda was 8 oz, soon it will be 12 ounces.
  • the old serving size of yogurt is decreasing from 8 ounces to 6 ounces
  • the old serving size of ice cream was 1/2 cup now is changing to 2/3 of cup

What is % Daily Value anyway?

The percent is based upon a 2,000 calorie diet for healthy adults. So for example, if the label lists 10% daily value for Vitamin C, it means one serving provides 10% of the Vitamin C your body needs each day. The new Nutrition Facts label footnote does a great job explaining that to consumers.

When we should expect change?

Expect these changes to the Nutrition Facts label by July 26, 2018. Food manufactures with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an addition year to comply.

How do you feel about these changes? Would you recommend something different?


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