People

FDA unveils first changes to nutrition labels in 20 years


food label new FDA
By Britni Riley | June 08, 2016

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently announced changes to the nutrition facts on food labels. The changes to the labels come in response to decades of research linking diet to chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, as well addressing the need for the labels to more consumer-friendly.

Nutrition labels have historically been difficult to understand for the majority of consumers and it is the hope of the FDA and First Lady Michelle Obama that the recent changes will help shoppers make healthier choices.

“A lot of consumers did not even look at the food labels because they did not know what any of the numbers and percentages meant,” said Shreela Sharma, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology and registered dietitian, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. “It was a lot of information, but not well thought out because not everyone eats a 2,000 calorie per day diet, and it was not useful information for most people.”

The biggest changes to the nutrition facts labels are a larger font for servings per container and updated serving sizes. To better reflect today’s realistic serving sizes, food and drink labels will now also show the nutrition facts as being one serving for the entire container or bottle of food as opposed to multiple servings per item.

“Manufacturers will now be required to show the servings per container if the container has more than two servings,” said Arthur Garson, M.D., director of the Health Policy Institute at the Texas Medical Center. “We know that the public wants simplicity and showing the total number of calories in a container is a step in the right direction.”

In addition, the new labels declare actual amounts, percentages and values of nutrition, larger font for calories per serving and a change in nutrients listed at at the bottom of the label. The FDA has also created a section to show the amount of added sugars in a product compared to the natural sugars a product contains.

“Many people avoid buying products that have any sugar because they think all sugars are bad, but they are not,” Sharma said. “By showing the difference between added sugars and natural sugar people can feel better about eating sugars that are good for them.”

This will be the first time in 20 years that the nutrition facts labels have been changed, and the changes are the result of modern scientific and nutritional information. In addition to helping consumers make more informed decisions when they are buying groceries, the FDA hopes that the changes in the nutrition labels will help control the growing obesity rates in the country.

“We do not need any more data to tell us that obesity is a problem in the United States,” Garson said. “I commend the FDA for making these changes and I look forward to conducting more research to see how well these changes work.”

Although the nutrition facts label changes have been announced, food manufacturers have until July 2018 to update their labels. For more information on the recent changes, please visit http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm




Social Posts

profile_image

UniversityofHouston

@UHouston

@Joseph_Duarte @UHCougarBB @toddwhitting @TreyCumbie ?

4 hours ago
profile_image

Joe Sheehan

Yes, look at the racist staff here. Smh there's no hope for humanity....

4 hours ago
profile_image

UniversityofHouston

@UHouston

@HiltonCollege Ranked #2 in the nation for diversity, with no single majority. #UHProud ?

5 hours ago
profile_image

UniversityofHouston

@UHouston

@JoyBabby21 #ForeverCoogs are the best. ?

5 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @HardeepSinghMD: No pitch or powerpoint? Join us #HITHealthIMPACT meet @TMCInnovation to discuss EHRs & population health @bcmhouston ht?

5 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

Dr. Sobia Khan says menopause symptoms shouldn't slow women down. https://t.co/KnMgT9mXXH

5 hours ago
profile_image

Baylor College of Medicine

BaylorCollegeOfMedicine

Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine Director Dr. Matthew Ellis explains how combining patient-derived xenografts and proteogenomic ...

5 hours ago
profile_image

Aunt Maine

Praying without ceasing for Brandon Smith💙 Lord continue to encamp your Angels around him and the entire TxChildren Staff and Patients🙏🏾✝💜

6 hours ago
profile_image

Houston Methodist

@MethodistHosp

Did you know that trick to cooking vegetables is to keep the cooking time, temperature & liquids to a minimum? https://t.co/S6LQezZbd6

6 hours ago
profile_image

Houston Methodist

houstonmethodist

Did you know that cooking vegetables can help make it easier for your body to absorb their nutrients? The trick is to keep the cooking time, temperature & liqui...

6 hours ago
profile_image

Memorial Hermann

MemorialHermann

Moms-to-be in Cypress can look forward to welcoming their bundles of joy in comfort! Watch this start-to-finish look at one of our Memorial Hermann Cypress Hosp...

7 hours ago
profile_image

Memorial Hermann

@memorialhermann

Moms-to-be can welcome their little ones in comfort! Take a look at our Cypress hospital's Labor & Delivery suite:? https://t.co/7M5RXyWj3c

7 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Snowmass Hosts the 31st Annual Winter Sports Clinic https://t.co/xZvwtAuDeH via https://t.co/9GChnakW7q

7 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

Don't miss the latest and most interesting research from the bench at Baylor: https://t.co/wbccouM5eV. https://t.co/UIiSZ4hZbq

8 hours ago
profile_image

Baylor College of Medicine

BaylorCollegeOfMedicine

Dr. Marc Willis discusses Radiology-TEACHES learning tool, which helps students learn more about medical imaging tests.

8 hours ago