Health-minded, savvy shoppers often attempt to read the nutrition labels
on packaged foods to make smart dietary choices. Unfortunately, even the
most savvy shoppers can easily become confused or be fooled into thinking
they are getting less calories than they really are! But help is on its
way. Soon, those labels will look different, with changes designed to
ensure that consumers are even better informed about the food they buy and eat.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a redesign of the label,
which the majority of food manufacturers must implement by July 2018.
"Some of the changes are needed updates to serving sizes to reflect
how much Americans eat and drink today--compared to 1993, when serving
sizes were last formulated--as well as new dietary values of nutrients
that align with the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans," says
Susan Watkins, RD, CDE, Manager of the St. Joseph Health Center for Health Promotion, and a registered
dietician and certified diabetes educator. "The new labels also make
it easier to see calories and servings at a glance."
Another change will affect labels on some packaged foods with multiple
servings, such as a bag of chips or cookies, that people tend to eat more
than one serving of at one time. "These labels will have a column
that denotes the calories and nutritional value per serving and a separate
column that lists them per package," Watkins says. "As with
the other changes, the goal with these two-column labels is to clarify
this information and make it easier for people to know the calories and
nutritional profile of their food. Armed with that knowledge, they can
eat a healthy daily diet that helps prevent diseases."
Here is a look at the redesigned label and its key changes:
To speak with a registered dietitian to learn more about what diet and
programs may be right for you call the St. Joseph Health Center for Health
Promotion at (714) 618-9500. Ask about our Healthy Plate classes!
How are these label changes going to help you make better food choices?
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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.