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. A new line will be included 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 recent decades. Fat was the focus in the 1990s when the labels first were created. Now there is 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. That will make it hard to overlook.
 
Serving sizes will also be easier to see. They will be listed at the top of the graphic. And it will be easier to determine 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. That is because it's impossible for consumers to know how much sugar in an item is naturally occurring, like those 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.
 
Another change to the labels will be the introduction of levels of potassium and Vitamin D. They are 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. 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 (84)
  • pipern-2-bar
    6/02/2016 - 03:23 p.m.

    The change in serving size will make the impact on the food they eat more realistic.This way people will understand how much they are eating."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." (Paragraph 2) I like this article because I'm glad they are re-doing the serving sizes of food.

  • emmetts-kut
    6/02/2016 - 03:48 p.m.

    so they don't over look the fats and sugars added, according to the article, "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." this will help because if the small bag counts for 2-3 servings, if it has lets say, 3g of sugar that 9g of sugar overall, so with these new rules company's can't trick there buyer into getting something they never would of bought.

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

    The change in serving size will help people know the impact of the food they eat because the serving sizes will be more realistic. This realism helps because in the past one small bag of chips would have 2 or 3 servings in it. This was inconvenient for people trying to know how much they were eating because if they eat the whole bag they will have to multiply the information by 2 or 3. This also can cause people to just look at the bag and assume it is one serving in it. If they look at the nutrition label and see "100 Calories" they may think that the whole bag is 100 calories. These new labels will make the serving size based on the container, in order to make it easier. In summary, the new serving size will make people understand the impact of the food because the serving size will be more realistic.

  • kaled-2-bar
    6/02/2016 - 05:50 p.m.

    The change in serving size with help people know the impact of the food they eat because then the people will know how many servings they are supposed to eat. "Serving sizes will be updated to make them more realistic." (paragraph 2) I found this article interesting because I never knew that the serving size mattered, I just eat until I'm full.

  • rorys-1-bar
    6/02/2016 - 05:55 p.m.

    The change in the "serving size" will help people know the impact of the food the eat because it will tell people the amount of food they should eat. Also new "more realistic" food servings sizes will make it so that people will know the truth about how many calories that they are eating. Also serving sizes will make so that the one third of Americans that are overweight will be able to lose weight and be healthier.

    Opinion: I thought this article was cool because the new nutrition labels will make a huge impact on the U.S.

  • colek-1-bar
    6/02/2016 - 08:09 p.m.

    The change in serving size will help people know the impact of the food they eat by seeing how many calories the food has. Since Michelle Obama is doing this for her Let's Move campaign,"The calorie listing will now be much larger than the rest of the type on the label. That will make it hard to overlook." If the font is greater, people would not have to search to find it. In this way, people buying the product would then realize the fats and calories they would consume by eating the food. By doing so, the bigger font helped consumers be wary of their intake of calories and fats in foods. That is why the change if serving size will help people know the impact of food they eat. I thought this article was interesting and found that Michelle Obama is pushing for a change in font size for food labels surprising.

  • taylorh-4-bar
    6/02/2016 - 08:10 p.m.

    They will change the serving size t help people know the impact of the food they eat because it is going to be printed larger so it will be hard to overlook. As said in the article, "Serving sizes will also be easier to see. They will be listed at the top of the graphic. And it will be easier to determine how many servings are in a container, part of the attempt to revise long-misleading serving sizes." I found this article helpful because these things are needed to prevent obesity.

  • colbys-3-bar
    6/02/2016 - 08:21 p.m.

    The change in serving size will help people know the impact of the food they are eating because we live in an unhealthy country that usually finishes what they are eating. When people eat and they look at the back they see a calorie count, but only for the serving size. If they put the calorie count for the whole thing people can know how much they have eaten. I thought this article was interesting because I never knew that the label were getting redesigned.

  • lukep-6-bar
    6/02/2016 - 08:31 p.m.

    Nutrition labels on food packages are going to change because of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign. Calories will be listed in bigger, bolder type along with serving size so that it will be easier to determine how many servings are in a container to revise long misleading serving sizes.

  • natalier-4-bar
    6/02/2016 - 08:56 p.m.

    The change in "serving size" will help people know the impact of the food they eat because, "Serving sizes will also be easier to see. They will be listed at the top of the graphic. And it will be easier to determine how many servings are in a container," (paragraph six). Since the serving size will be easier to see, people will know the the correct size portion of the food they are eating, and they would know the impact of the food they eat because they would not over eat. Along with printing the serving size of boxes larger, the amount of calories in a box will be printed larger as well. This will also help people know the impact of the food they eat. I found this article really interesting. I think it's a good idea to print the serving sizes on boxes larger because no one really cares to read the fine print, but if it is printed large enough for someone to see without looking for it, everyone will be living healthier life.

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