More details on changes from fda.gov
1. Greater Understanding of Nutrition Science
- Require information about “added sugars.” Many experts recommend consuming fewer calories from added sugar because they can decrease the intake of nutrient-rich foods while increasing calorie intake.
- Update daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D. Daily values are used to calculate the Percent Daily Value listed on the label, which help consumers understand the nutrition information in the context of a total daily diet.
- Require manufacturers to declare the amount of potassium and Vitamin D on the label, because they are new “nutrients of public health significance.” Calcium and iron would continue to be required, and Vitamins A and C could be included on a voluntary basis.
- While continuing to require “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “Trans Fat” on the label, “Calories from Fat” would be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.
2. Updated Serving Size Requirements and New Labeling Requirements for Certain Package Sizes
- Change the serving size requirements to reflect how people eat and drink today, which has changed since serving sizes were first established 20 years ago. By law, the label information on serving sizes must be based on what people actually eat, not on what they “should” be eating.
- Require that packaged foods, including drinks, that are typically eaten in one sitting be labeled as a single serving and that calorie and nutrient information be declared for the entire package. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda, typically consumed in a single sitting, would be labeled as one serving rather than as more than one serving.
- For certain packages that are larger and could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings, manufacturers would have to provide “dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calories and nutrient information. Examples would be a 24-ounce bottle of soda or a pint of ice cream. This way, people would be able to easily understand how many calories and nutrients they are getting if they eat or drink the entire package at one time.
3. Refreshed Design
- Make calories and serving sizes more prominent to emphasize parts of the label that are important in addressing current public health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
- Shift the Percent Daily Value to the left of the label, so it would come first. This is important because the Percent Daily Value tells you how much of certain nutrients you are getting from a particular food in the context of a total daily diet.
- Change the footnote to more clearly explain the meaning of the Percent Daily Value.
Original vs. Proposed
More information on changes:
- Calorie counts would be in large type and portion sizes will be adjusted to reflect how much Americans really eat. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of pop would be counted as one serving, rather than the 2½ servings currently seen on most bottles. The more realistic one cup serving would replace the current half-cup serving size for ice cream.
- Percent daily calories would shift to the left of the label.
- Added sugars would be highlighted on a new line. Currently, naturally occurring sugars and added sugars are lumped together. Foods with unexpected added sugars include pasta sauce, ketchup and pizza. One cup of pasta sauce has five teaspoons of sugar, while a frozen pizza may contain as much as six teaspoons. Each tablespoon of ketchup contains one teaspoon of sugar.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has launched an initiative to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods so that nutritional content listed on products is clear, accurate, and more easily understood. Some of the changes to the label FDA proposed would
- Require information about the amount of added sugars in a food product
- Present dual column labels to indicate both per serving and per package calorie & nutrition information for larger packages that could be consumed in 1 or multiple sittings
- Removing calories from fat
- Change the format to emphasize certain elements such as calories, serving sizes, and % daily values
“FDA to Update Nutrition Facts Label.” Nutraceuticals. April 2014. 12.