FDA Changes to Nutrition Labeling and How to Understand Them
In the past 20 years, both our diets and measurements of nutrition have significantly changed. As a result, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced some major modifications to the Nutrition Facts Panel label to reflect these changes.
The new labels have been designed to modernize the current nutritional facts panel, focusing on nutrition facts that are now more prominent than they were 20 years ago, including:
- Changes in Nutrients / Vitamin labeling – Potassium and Vitamin D will now be listed on the label, but Vitamin A and Vitamin C are no longer required to be listed. The Percent Daily Value will be updated to help consumers understand how this food will fit into their overall diet.
- Modification in Calories Listing – Calories on the label will now be displayed in a larger, bold font, while ‘Calories from Fat’ will no longer be listed.
- Dual Column Labeling – Some products will now have a second column on its label. If a package includes more than one serving, but is equal to or less than three servings and could still be consumed in one sitting, it is required to include nutrition information for “per serving” and “per package”.
- More Prominent Display of Serving Size – Similar to the dual column labeling, the serving size will now more accurately reflect what a person would typically consume in one sitting; it will no longer present a recommended amount of consumption, or serving size, as it currently does.
- Addition of Total Sugars and Added Sugars – The “Total Carbohydrate” section will now include “Total Sugars” as well as a breakout for added sugars. A Percent Daily Value will also be shown for Added Sugars.
You can expect to see these changes within the next year or two, as the FDA has required all labels to be changed by July 2018.