New Year, New Nutrition Label

What was the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act? It’s all in the title – in 1990 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was granted the ability to require nutrition labeling on all packaged foods and the ability to regulate the health claims made by food manufactures. Why is this important? As an increased number of packaged foods made its way onto our shelves, there was no governing board regulating what was inside. To hold these manufactures accountable and to educate the consumer, nutrition labels were introduced and required to be on all packaged foods. Original nutrition labels included serving sizes – based on the amounts “customarily consumed” by individuals – plus the calories, fat, sodium, total carbohydrates, cholesterol, fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron per these determined serving. While the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act was groundbreaking at the time, nutrition is ever evolving. So in May of 2016, the FDA announced the introduction of a new nutrition label to continue to help consumers make healthier choices based on new scientific evidence connecting diet and chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease and cancer. Some of the new changes include updated serving sizes, removal of calories from fat, replacing the amount of vitamin A and C with potassium and vitamin D, as well as distinguishing between sugars and added sugars.  While you may have seen some of these new labels on your favorite products as some companies have begun to introduce these new labels, the FDA has extended the compliance date from 2018 now to 2020. Below outlines the some of the changes you should expect to see.