New Nutrition Facts Label
This post feautres an infographic created by Westfalia Technologies which was put together to educate consumers on the new nutrition facts label. Manufacturers will have until July 26, 2018, to comply with the final requirements, and manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to make the changes. This infographic provides a reminder and overview of these changes.
Consumers concerned about what they eat have learned to trust the Nutrition Facts label as a source for important information about the foods they buy. Thanks to information contained on the label such as calories, serving size and vitamin content, millions have been given the tools they need to make healthy lifestyle choices and generally become more aware of what they eat. However, the information we have about what constitutes a healthy diet isn’t static. As research continues to discover more about how our bodies process nutrients and our dietary habits, the general consensus about healthy eating becomes more accurate and necessitates shifts in conventional wisdom. This is why, in 2016, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would be requiring changes to the Nutrition Facts label; and that all food manufacturers and packagers would need to be in compliance with those changes by 2018. Because these changes range from major to subtle, it’s important that anyone working in the food industry be aware of the reasoning behind these changes and what made them necessary.
For example, one of the biggest changes to the Nutrition Facts label is in the way serving sizes are presented. In the past, a serving size was determined by a recommendation from nutritionists. However, research since has discovered that a lot of Americans were not eating the recommended serving size of many foods. Therefore, the serving size listed on the Nutrition Facts label from now on reflects Americans’ actual eating habits. By bringing the serving size more in line with how people really eat in a single sitting, individuals will have more accurate information about how many calories and other nutrients they can expect to consume. This, in turn, allows people to make better decisions about what they eat during a typical day.
Another significant change to the Nutrition Facts label is to the list of nutrients required. In the past, the FDA required manufacturers and packagers to display the amount of vitamins A and C. This was because many Americans at the time were not getting enough of these nutrients. However, since the original Nutrition Facts label was mandated, Americans’ dietary habits have shifted and the majority of Americans get more than enough vitamins A and C in their diets. Because of this, the FDA has made reporting the percentage of those vitamins voluntary and required reporting content of Vitamin D and potassium, which have been found to be lacking in most Americans’ diets.
The following guide breaks down the changes in the Nutrition Facts label. The label is a useful tool for consumers, and the food industry needs to be aware of how it can help keep it that way.
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