FDA updates Nutrition Facts label

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nutrition label

Photo: The Food and Drug Administration

Silver Spring, MD – The Food and Drug Administration is updating the Nutrition Facts label found on the side of most packaged food sold in the United States.

Calories and serving size information will be in larger, bolder type, and the amount of sugar added to the food will be displayed. Manufacturers also will be required to include vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium information.

FDA said it made the changes, announced May 20, to help consumers make smarter food choices.

Other updates include:

  • New serving sizes will more accurately mirror what people actually eat. The previous serving size requirements were released in 1993.
  • “Dual column” labels will have both “per serving” and “per package” information, as some packages contain more than one serving.
  • “Calories from Fat” will be deleted because research shows that type of fat is more crucial than the amount.
  • Vitamins A and C are no longer required to be listed because deficiencies of these are uncommon. They can be voluntarily included on the label.

Most manufacturers will have to use the new label by July 26, 2018. The requirements do not pertain to certain meat, poultry and processed egg products, which fall under the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

“For more than 20 years, Americans have relied on the Nutrition Facts label as a leading source of information regarding calories, fat and other nutrients to help them understand more about the foods they eat in a day,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a press release. “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.”

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