The Grocery Manufacturers Association approves of the FDA’s updating of the Nutrition Facts panel that includes a new design to highlight “calories” and “servings,” requirements for serving sizes that more closely reflect the amounts of food people actually consume, and a declaration of “added sugars,” among other changes.
“This update is timely as diets, eating patterns and consumer preferences have changed dramatically since the Nutrition Facts panel was first introduced,” said Dr. Leon Bruner, GMA’s chief science officer, in a statement.
The new label will include:
- Declaration of grams and a percent daily value for “added sugars” to help consumer know how much sugar has been added to a product.
- Dual column labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calories and nutrition information for certain multi-serving food products that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.
- For packages that are between one and two servings, the calories and other nutrients will be required to be labeled as one serving because people typically consume it in one sitting.
- Updated daily values for nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D.
- Declaration of vitamin D and potassium that will include the actual gram amount, in addition to the %DV. These are nutrients that some people are not getting enough of, which puts them at higher risk for chronic disease, according to the FDA.
“Calories from Fat” will be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount. An abbreviated footnote to better explain the %DV.
“I am thrilled that the FDA has finalized a new and improved Nutrition Facts label that will be on food products nationwide,” said First Lady Michelle Obama in a statement. “This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices.”
Most food manufacturers will be required to use the new label by July 26, 2018, with suppliers with less than $10 million in annual sales having an additional year for compliance.
The FDA plans to conduct outreach and education efforts on the new requirements. Bruner stressed that such outreach will be important for consumer in particular.
“Because consumers could be confused by the new label with its numerous changes, a robust consumer education effort will be needed to ensure that people continue to understand how the revised label can be used to make informed choices and maintain healthful dietary practices. We look forward to working with FDA and other stakeholders on messages and activities to help consumers understand what the new labels mean,” he said.
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