FDA Nutrition Labels Getting a Facelift
The Food and Drug Administration is intent on revising the nutrition facts label -- the exact breakdown of fats, salts, sugars and nutrients on packaging -- to provide consumers with more valuable information and assist in the fight against the national obesity epidemic.
Currently, several parts of the label are up for change. More accurate serving sizes, a greater emphasis on calories and a diminished role in the daily percent values for substances like fat, sodium and carbohydrates are all discussed changes to the iconic label.
The re-design is part of a larger effort to improve the way Americans view food and decide on what to eat, and is motivated by major changes in nutrition regulations by the Obama administration.
The long-standing food pyramid was toppled this year by the U.S. government, replaced by a plate that gives a better picture of what a healthy diet should look like, and calorie counts are beginning to appear on the menus of chain restaurants nationwide.
FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor said he doesn't expect the changes to be a sweeping overhaul, but notes that the redesign represents a step towards a more informative view of the foods that Americans eat every day.
"There's no question obesity is a central public health concern that the nutrition facts panel can play a role in. It's obviously not a magic wand but can be an informative tool," he told the Associated Press.