Food labels are getting a makeover In this Jan. 23, 2014 file photo, the nutrition facts label on the side of a cereal box is photographed in Washington. Nutrition facts labels on food packages are getting a long-awaited makeover, with calories listed in bigger, bolder type and a new line for added sugars. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File/Thinkstock)
Food labels are getting a makeover
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Nutrition facts labels on food packages are getting a long-awaited makeover. Calories will be listed in bigger, bolder type and there will be a new line for added sugars.
 
Serving sizes will be updated to make them more realistic. A small bag of chips won't count as two or three servings, for example.
 
First lady Michelle Obama is expected to announce the final rules for new labels in a speech May 27. It will be part of her "Let's Move!" campaign to combat childhood obesity. The changes were first proposed by the Food and Drug Administration two years ago. They are the first major update of the labels since they were created in 1994. The labels are now found on more than 800,000 products.
 
"This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices," the first lady said in a statement.
 
The overhaul comes as the science has changed in decades. While fat was the focus in the 1990s when the labels first were created, there is now more concern about how many calories people eat. The calorie listing will now be much larger than the rest of the type on the label, making it hard to overlook.
 
Serving sizes will also be easier to see, listed at the top of the graphic. And it will be easier to discern how many servings are in a container, part of the attempt to revise long-misleading serving sizes.
 
Calculations for serving sizes will also be revised. The idea behind listing a whole package of food, or a whole drink, as one serving size isn't that people should eat more; it's that they should understand how many calories are in what they are actually eating. The FDA says that by law, serving sizes must be based on actual consumption, not ideal consumption.
 
Nutrition advocates have long asked for the added sugars line on the label because it's impossible for consumers to know how much sugar in an item is naturally occurring, like that in fruit and dairy products, and how much is added by the manufacturer. Think an apple vs. applesauce, which comes in sweetened and unsweetened varieties.
 
Other changes to the labels: They must now list levels of potassium and Vitamin D, two nutrients Americans don't get enough of. Vitamin C and Vitamin A listings are no longer required but can be included. Iron and calcium will stay.
 
The food industry has two years to comply.
 
Reaction to the labels from food companies has been mixed since they were first proposed. While some companies have fought the new line for added sugar, others have supported it. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the food industry's largest companies, has supported the larger print for calories.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why will the change in “serving size” help people know the impact of the food they eat?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (32)
  • mayaw-6-bar
    5/31/2016 - 07:29 p.m.

    The change in "serving size" will help people know the impact of the food they eat because it will more realistic, rather than idealistic. In paragraph seven, the article states that, "The FDA says that by law, serving sizes must be based on actual consumption, not ideal consumption." This quote means that serving sizes should be based on the real amount that you eat, compared to how much the company wants you or is telling you to eat. Therefore, the change in "serving size" will help people know the impact of the food they eat because it will be more realistic, rather than idealistic. The new label since it will be making the serving size bigger, means that it will be increasing the amount of calories. By showing how many calories one consumes and putting it in bold will make one more aware of their diet, and will try to end child obesity.

  • collinf-2-bar
    6/01/2016 - 05:24 p.m.

    The change in serving size will help people know the impact of the food they eat because the change will help them "understand how many calories are in what they are actually eating." Serving sizes will now be "based on actual consumption, not ideal consumption." With the new labels, the nutrition facts will be based on how much most people actually eat, not how much they should.

    I found this article interesting because I have noticed that serving sized usually don't match up with what I actually eat.

  • carlym-4-bar
    6/02/2016 - 01:03 p.m.

    The change in serving size will help people know the impact of the food they eat because it will be clearly listed so that the consumer can see it and how many calories there are in one serving size will be listed. "Serving sizes will also be easier to see, listed at the top of the graphic. And it will be easier to discern how many servings are in a container, part of the attempt to revise long-misleading serving sizes."
    I enjoyed this article because I didn't know that food labels would be changed.

  • sheilah-6-bar
    6/02/2016 - 01:08 p.m.

    The nutrition facts for food are getting a change. The article states,"Serving sizes will also be easier to see, listed at the top of the graphic. And it will be easier to discern how many servings are in a container, part of the attempt to revise long-misleading serving sizes. Calculations for serving sizes will also be revised. The idea behind listing a whole package of food, or a whole drink, as one serving size isn't that people should eat more; it's that they should understand how many calories are in what they are actually eating. The FDA says that by law, serving sizes must be based on actual consumption, not ideal consumption." The serving size will be for "the actual consumption," and will be more open to correct information. Misleading serving sizes will be changed. This will help people know how many calories, or fat there are in food one eats. It will help people stay on a better diet knowing the what they are putting in their body. I found this article exciting because i hate misleading titles. The information always confused me.

  • josiec-1-bar
    6/02/2016 - 03:24 p.m.

    The change in serving size will help people know the impact of food they eat because,"Serving sizes will be updated to make them more realistic. A small bag of chips won't count as two or three servings, for example." Knowing that unhealthy food will help people make better choices in their eating habits. My opinion is that the realistic serving sizes will help people eat better.

  • noahf-3-bar
    6/02/2016 - 03:26 p.m.

    The change in serving size labels will help people know the impact of the food people eat because the new labels are more accurate than they were before allowing people to be more informed about what they are actually eating.
    The actual change is that servings will be changed to be more realistic to represent how much people are actually eating in one serving. This change will influence people to enjoy healthier choices.

  • oscarb-1-bar
    6/02/2016 - 04:00 p.m.

    The serving size change will help people know the impact of the food they eat, so people eat healthier. The article states,"Serving sizes will be updated to make them more realistic. A small bag of chips won't count as two or three servings, for example." In the past people ate too much because of the serving size was so big. With cutting down the size it will help people eat healthier.

  • jackr-2-bar
    6/02/2016 - 04:06 p.m.

    The change in serving size will tell people the impact of the food because the change will help them "understand how many calories are in what they are actually eating." consumption, not ideal consumption." I found this article interesting because there was an old ad on a channel I used to watch about serving size, so it caught my eye.

  • tyn-2-bar
    6/02/2016 - 04:47 p.m.

    The change will not inform people on the impact of the food they eat. The article says that "The FDA says that by law, serving sizes must be based on actual consumption, not ideal consumption." So, by changing the serving size of the food will just tell the customers how much the average person eat, not tell them the impact of the food.
    I don't really care about food labels or anything on this website.

  • audreyv-4-bar
    6/02/2016 - 07:05 p.m.

    The change in "serving size" will help people realize how much they're actually consuming, rather than how much they should consume. "The FDA says that by law, serving sizes must be based on actual consumption, not ideal consumption." In result to changing the "serving size" people are hoping that others will eat healthier, and be more aware of the food that they buy and consume.

    I found this article very interesting, because I think that it's a good idea how nutrition facts will be written bigger to help not confuse the consumers.

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