Michelle Obama Reveals Major Changes to FDA Nutrition Labels (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

The Food and Drug Administration has made its biggest changes to food labels in 20 years.

First Lady Michelle Obama, who is also the honorary chair of Partnership for a Healthier America, revealed the significant upgrades that will be on the food labels of approximately 800,000 products.

“Very soon, you will no longer need a microscope, a calculator, or a degree in nutrition to figure out whether the food you are buying is actually good for your kids,” she said at the organization’s Build a Healthier Future Summit, as reported by Food Navigator.

Among the various changes, “Added Sugars” is provoking the most controversy. Until now, consumers had no way to know how much of the sugar in any given food was natural, such as from fruit, versus an added sweetener like high-fructose corn syrup.

“Besides helping consumers make more informed choices, the new label should also spur food manufacturers to add less sugar to their products,” stated the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which supports the initiative along with the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

Opponents of the change argue that all sugars are the same, whereas the FDA countered by saying the change will help consumers determine foods that are nutrient-dense and limit products with added sweeteners.  

“A line disclosing added sugars with a corresponding percent Daily Value on updated Nutrition Fats labels should help consumers reduce their risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease,” added the CSPI.

“Having the added sugars will shock people into realizing how much sugar they’re eating,” said Michael F. Jacobson, president of the organization, as noted by Vox.

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The new labels will also display the calorie count in a larger, easier-to-read font, and will adjust the serving size to be closer to what consumers actually eat. Under the nutrients of interest section, vitamin D and iron will replace vitamins A and C, as few people tend to lack the latter compared to the former.

Most food manufacturers will need to comply with the new label by July 26, 2018. Companies with less than $10 million in annual sales will be granted another year to make the change.  

Sources: Food Navigator, Vox / Photo credit: Joyce N. Boghosian/Wikimedia Commons, Vox

Tags: added sugars, FDA, Michelle Obama, nutrition labels, serving size
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