The New Nutrition Facts Label

8-15-foodlabelJamie Vallone, RD, CDN

You may be familiar with the Nutrition Facts Label, which is found on most packaged food products and lists the nutrients and ingredients that are contained in that food. What you may not know is that this label will have a new look in the next few years. The reason for the change is to better reflect the current nutrition needs of Americans as determined by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines – developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Click here to see an example of the current Nutrition Facts Label as compared to the new Nutrition Facts Label projected to be released in 2018.

Some of the changes to the Nutrition Facts label are:

•Calories, Serving Size, and Servings Per Container will be displayed larger so they are easier to find as they are important when making food choices.

•Serving sizes will better reflect the amount consumers are currently eating. For example, a 20 ounce bottle of soda will now be labeled as one serving per container when it was previously labeled as two.

•Percent Daily Values for nutrients will be updated to reflect needs as determined by more current scientific evidence.

•The listing of added sugars will be required on the food label. These are sugars and syrups that are not naturally occurring in food and have been added during manufacturing. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting added sugars to 10 percent of total daily calories.

•The amount of Vitamin D and potassium in foods will be included, as Americans are commonly deficient in these nutrients. Iron and calcium will remain on the food label, however vitamins A and C will no longer be required as deficiencies for these vitamins are rare.

For more information, please visit http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm

and watch the video at http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/understanding-the-new-nutrition-facts-label