What you need to know about the new nutrition label from the FDA

What you need to know about the new nutrition label from the FDA
The FDA has updated the Nutrition Facts label on packaged food.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Food and Drug Administration is making nutrition labels easier to read and you’ll likely notice the changes.

In 2016, the FDA published rules on the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new, scientific information. They believe that information includes the link between diet and chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease.

Here is what the new label looks like and the changes it brings:

The new Nutrition Facts label by the FDA. (source: FDA)
The new Nutrition Facts label by the FDA. (source: FDA)

Samantha Ferguson, a registered dietitian at Nutrition in Motion, says the big change to note: calories.

“Consumers can really see where their calories are, it doesn’t take long to locate them,” said Ferguson.

As you can see in the image above, the calories are in big, bold font compared to the smaller size on the previous label.

She also said the serving size is bigger, more noticeable, and more realistic to what we’re actually eating. The FDA changes what is considered a single serving. Now, a serving size is more realistic to show how much people typically eat at one time.

This reflects the new serving size compared to the old one. (source: FDA)
This reflects the new serving size compared to the old one. (source: FDA)

Another big change is the added sugars on the label. It not only shows how many grams of sugar is in the product but also how much of the sugars are added. The less added sugar, the better. This change is important for those with diabetes or watching their weight.

The label has also changed what nutrients the manufacturer is required to display. Instead of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, we’re seeing nutrients that most Americans need more of on a daily basis.

“We’ve changed it to include Vitamin D and potassium,” said Ferguson. “Those are good things to note that we want to focus on getting more on those nutrients and we don’t care as much about Vitamin A and Vitamin C because we do get a lot of those in our diet now.”

Overall, Ferguson says these are positive changes.

“It is just going to be a clearer picture," said Ferguson. “We really haven’t updated this in quite a while so I think this is a good change that we’ve made.”

Side-by-Side of the Original Nutrition Label and New Label. (source: FDA)
Side-by-Side of the Original Nutrition Label and New Label. (source: FDA)

You’ll already notice this change with most foods in stores, but by this time next year, every item will have the new label.

To learn more about the changes to the Nutrition Facts Label, click here.

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