Nutrition labels could be changing

Do you read the nutrition labels on everything you buy? I can’t imagine not doing that and still being able to stay on a low-salt, low-fat, low-added-sugar diet. I read and compare labels on every packaged food I buy and they often tell me of hidden salt or fat I didn’t know was in something like everyday bread, for example.

Now there’s talk the Food and Drug Administration may be revising the standard nutrition labels. An Associated Press story on the topic notes:

Do you read nutrition labels? They may be changing.
Do you read nutrition labels? They may be changing.

“Nutrition advocates are hoping the agency adds a line for sugars and syrups that are not naturally occurring in foods and drinks and are added when they are processed or prepared. Right now, some sugars are listed separately among the ingredients and some are not.

“It may be difficult for the FDA to figure out how to calculate added sugars, however. Food manufacturers are adding naturally occurring sugars to their products so they can label them as natural — but the nutrition content is no different.

“Other suggestions from health advocates:
— Add the percentage of whole wheat to the label. Many manufacturers will label products “whole wheat” when there is really only a small percentage of it in the food.
— Clearer measurements. …suggested that the FDA use teaspoons, as well as grams, for added sugars, since consumers can envision a teaspoon.
— Serving sizes that make sense. There’s no easy answer, but health experts say that single-size servings that are clearly meant to be eaten in one sitting will often list two or three servings on the label, making the calorie and other nutrient information deceptive. FDA said last year that it may add another column to the labels, listing nutrition information per serving and per container. The agency may also adjust recommended serving sizes for some foods.
— Package-front labeling.”

Don’t expect changes soon. The food industry fought for years the last time labels were revised, the same is likely to happen now.

I, for one, would love some direction on sugar and more prominent salt content displays. I think the emphasis on calories alone misses the point of where the calories are coming from. When they come from fat, salt and sugar, we all suffer.
John

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