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)
  • johnd-3-bar
    6/02/2016 - 09:20 p.m.

    The change in serving size will help people know what they are eating because it will increase the food in a serving size."Serving sizes will be updated to make them more realistic. " More realistic means a more probable amount of food aren. The amount of food in a serving size was much less than the average amount eaten. By showing a more probable amount of food eaten it will allow the consumer to know a more probable amount of food injected. This will allow them to better manage the amount of calories eaten.

  • samuelh-3-bar
    6/02/2016 - 09:32 p.m.

    The change in our serving sizes will help people to learn that the food you eat will have an impact on your life. With the change to the box or can label seeing how much sugar, vitamins, and iron, ect. When people see the amount os calories they are eating could help them learn what they are eating. If they are eating food that is not healthy for them they might cut back on how much food they eat.

  • adamp-3-bar
    6/02/2016 - 10:05 p.m.

    The change in the serving size will impact how people know the affect of the food they eat because the nutrition facts will more accurately represent the amount of food a person intakes. Most people eat much more than the serving size so they think the food they are eating is way better for them than it actually is. This is explained when it says "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." This means they want to more accurately represent how much people are actually eating. In my opinion, this are good changes because it is important that people know what is in their food.

  • gabriellek-1-bar
    6/02/2016 - 10:21 p.m.

    Changing the "serving size" will help people know the impact of the food they eat because the serving sizes will be easier to see and will be listed at the top of the graphic. They are making it easier to determine how many servings are in a container. I found it surprising that the last time the updated labels was in 1994. I am interested to hear more about the outcome of changing labels and if it will help people not eat as much.

  • aidanp-1-bar
    6/02/2016 - 10:24 p.m.

    Some people depend on the serving size to know how much they are eating. If the serving size is unreasonable then the person will eat more, needing more of the product. Better serving size may reduce obesity. Like it says on paragraph 6 it says "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 liked this article because it talks about stuff I don't care about.

  • simonak-3-bar
    6/02/2016 - 10:49 p.m.

    Changing the 'serving size' will help people know the impact of food that they eat because they will be able to see how many calories they're consuming. The passage 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." This means that when people look at a bag of chips, it will say 1 serving, but 3x the amount of calories. This will make people realize what they are eating is very bad.
    My opinion on this article is that it is interesting.

  • carlosp-6-bar
    6/02/2016 - 11:13 p.m.

    The change in "serving size" will help people know the impact of the food that they are eating because for example as sated in the fist article. "A small bag of chips won't count as two or three servings, for example." and when they say this is two or three servings they people think that that is not much because its more that one serving they will get more because they think it isn't as bad and not that many calories and if they say that it is one serving they know that there is more calories per serving than there was before and won't buy as much because it is bad for you.
    I think that this is a really good article because people don't realise what actually they are eating and how much calories they are consuming so when they make this happen people won't be as obese and will be a lot more healthier than before. But there this is a problem that the big companies will avoid because they will just put a bar code on it giving it a link to all the REAL ingredients. But nobody is going to do that because it wastes their time so I think there are many ways with the companies will be able to avoid this and will not make a difference to the way people eat and decrees obesity throughout America.

  • sofiat-4-bar
    6/02/2016 - 11:19 p.m.

    The change in “serving size” will help people know the impact of the food they eat because it will make the portions more realistic "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." I find it interesting that they have to change the labels in order for people to see how the portions are realistic.

  • milok-3-bar
    6/02/2016 - 11:25 p.m.

    The change in "serving size" will help people know the impact of the food they eat because they will have a better idea on exactly how much they are eating. I think it is good that they are making laws to enforce health measures. I think it is cool that it will be happening in the next two years so it will affect me.

  • oliviam-6-bar
    6/02/2016 - 11:35 p.m.

    The change in serving size, which is that, "Serving sizes will also be easier to see. Most people dont eat the normal recommended size for food. Usually they just make how much they will eat." I think most people should read serving suggestions before they just decide to eat something. They should have not changed food labels in the first place.

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