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Keeping Healthy: FDA to Revamp Food Labels

We know the field of science is always changing and that includes food science, which is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed updates to the nutrition facts labels on packed foods.
We know the field of science is always changing and that includes food science, which is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed updates to the nutrition facts labels on packed foods.
By revamping the nutrition facts label, the FDA hopes to make it easier than ever for the consumers to make better informed food choices, all in an effort to support a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Reading and deciphering food labels can be confusing and even frustrating at times which is why big changes are headed our way.
"The food labels are getting a makeover and this is really exciting,” says Excellus Registered Dietitian Patricia Salzer. “So, there are many changes that are being proposed and one of those changes is to have, in bigger, bolder print, the calories that are in that serving size."
Calories tend to be the first thing we look at it. Now, there will be no mistaking that calorie count. And the changes continue.
"So, the serving sizes are also being revamped for certain foods to be more reflective of what people are actually eating,” said Salzer.
‘Cause let's face it, there are certain foods we just eat more of.
"Right now the serving size of ice cream is a half a cup, most people don't stop at half a cup so, that new serving size will be one cup of ice cream. Also, soda, that serving size is changing,” says Salzer.
The new labels will also help break down the broader categories like carbohydrates.
"It will spell out there what the added sugars are in that product so right now that's under the total carbohydrate and you really can't tell what's a natural sugar and what's an added sugar,” explains Salzer.
The update will also eliminate unnecessary information.
"One thing that's on the label right now is it spells out how many calories comes from fat, that will not need to be on the new label because what we know is more important is not how many calories are coming from fat but what type of fat is in that product,” said Salzer.
Salzer says we'll also see changes in the percentage of daily values, especially in sodium. But when will the changes take effect? Well first, the FDA is asking for feedback from the consumers.
"So, right now there's a time frame where people can send in comments to these proposed changes and then it goes for the final review," says Salzer.
Companies will then have two years to give their labels a makeover, making the consumer's life a lot easier.

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