A lot has changed in Americans’ diets since the Nutrition Facts labels first appeared on food packages in 1993. Rates of obesity, heart disease, and cancer are high and portion sizes have become more and more generous. Nutrition science has made new discoveries and connections between food and health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a new Nutrition Facts label design that is easier to read and is helpful for consumers to make healthier, informed food choices.
The FDA says:
Our goal is to help people make better informed food choices that support a healthy diet. The changes are based on updated science that reinforces the link between diet and chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
- Larger and bolder type on serving sizes and amount of calories make it easy to read.
- Now includes the amount of added sugars and a % daily value.
- Added sugars should be limited to 10% of daily calories.
- Vitamin D and potassium added to required nutrients listed.
- Actual amounts of required nutrients now included.
- New footnote better explains the percent Daily Value.
Serving Sizes Get a Reality Check
What’s considered a single serving has changed in the decades since the original nutrition label was created. Now serving sizes will be more realistic to reflect how much people typically eat. Package sizes affect how much people eat and drink. Now, for example, both 12 and 20 ounce bottles will be considered 1 serving, since people typically drink both sizes in one sitting.
If food labels are a part of the education you provide students or clients, Learning ZoneXpress has brand new resources that reflect these new changes. These brand new resources highlight the different sections of the food label to help consumers determine if a food or beverage is a healthy choice, including a review of serving sizes and calories, nutrients to get more and less of, and an explanation of % Daily Value.