FDA modernizes Nutrition Fact Labels after 20 years

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took a bold step by updating nutritional information to make sure consumers make informed decisions when it comes to packaged foods. "I am thrilled that the FDA has finalized a new and improved Nutrition Facts label that will be on food products nationwide, " said First Lady Michelle Obama. "This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices." Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D. said, "The updated label makes improvements to this valuable resource so consumers can make more informed food choices - one of the most important steps a person can take to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity."

The Key Updates to consider on the new Nutrition Facts label are:

  • An updated design will highlight calories and servings

  • Serving sizes will more closely reflect amounts of food that folks currently eat. What and how much food & beverage has changed since the last update in 1993.

  • Added sugars will help consumers know how much sugar was added to the product. It is difficult to maintain calorie limits if you consume more than 10% of your total daily calories from added sugars. It is scientific evidence based on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  • A "Dual Column" will show per serving and per package for certain multi-serving food products consumed in one or multiple sittings. Such as a pint of ice cream or a bag of chips. Now it will be easier to understand how much is consumed if the entire food or drink is finished in one sitting.

  • Daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D are available as a reference amount not to exceed and are used to calculate the percentage that manufactures need to include on the label.

  • Vitamin D and potassium were added to include the actual gram amount and percent daily value. These are important nutrients some folks are not getting enough of which leads to a greater risk of chronic disease. Vitamin A and C will no longer be necessary to list as deficiencies in these are rare in the typical American diet.

  • Calories from Fat will be removed as research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount. 

Most food manufactures are required to update to the new label by July 26, 2018. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply with the new rules. Our hope is that the updated information will be easier to navigate for consumers to be informed of the food choices they're making to maintain healthy dietary practices. We hope to be the go to for all individuals wanting to better understand what they're consuming. We want to be the source of information and updating for food manufacturers in the southwest region.