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  • Juanita Weaver-Reiss

Change on the food label

It may be old news by the time you read this, but the food label is being revised. I will share the different changes that will be on the new label. Now the age old question of whether the change is good and needed is yet to be determined.

One of the first changes is the servings sizes that will be listed.

1) Portion sizes listed be more representative of the portions that people actually eat or drink of the food. This will listed at the top of the label.

2) Calories will be printed larger and in bold type, still with this located at the top of the label.

3) The grams of added sugar and the Percent Daily Value (%DV) will be listed.

Currently when sugars are listed, the label does not distinguish between the sugar that is naturally occurring in food and the sugars that are added to foods.

Currently the recommendation for added sugars in the diet from the American Heart Association is 6 teaspoons of sugar per day for women, and 9 teaspoons of sugar per day for men. To translate grams to teaspoons, one teaspoon has 4 grams of sugar. Women should only have 24 grams of added sugar per day, men 36 grams of sugar.

With the new label, it will be easier to identify the foods with the added sugars and to limit these.

4) Calories from fat will be removed from the label. Focusing on the type of fat eaten may be more beneficial for overall health.

5) %DV has received a couple of changes. First, the % of potassium and D will be added to the label since most people don't get enough of these nutrients.

The %DV will be based on the most current Dietary Guidelines and the Institute of Medicine recommendations.

6) On foods that could be eaten in one-sitting, for example a pint of ice cream, the label will have two columns that will list the serving and calories for the individual portion and whole container.

When will this change happen? Large food manufacturers are required to have the new food label by July 26, 2018. Smaller companies will have until 2019.

The only question that I have about the label is how will a typical serving eaten be determined. That may still require doing some math with the new label, particularly if a typical serving is larger than what you or I would put on our plates.

So I would be curious to know what the thoughts of my readers are about the new food label.


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