After 20 years, nutrition labels on packaged foods will have a new look.
On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the White House announced final changes to nutrition labels, which will be required on packaged foods within the next two years. The long-awaited changes included a specific call-out for added sugars—sweeteners added to foods, as opposed to those that occur naturally, as in a piece of fruit—a larger font for the total number of calories, and serving sizes that are more in line with the amount of food a person is likely to consume. For instance, a 20 oz soda will now count as one serving, since that is how it is most likely to be consumed.
Proposed changes were released July 2015 and after reviewing public comments and research, the FDA made changes to the labels. Serving sizes in general are being updated in order to show how much people actually eat. The labels and serving sizes were first put into place in 1993, when people ate differently than they do today, the White House reports.
Certain nutrients that officials say are of public health importance will also be required, like vitamin D and potassium. Calcium and iron are also required, as they were previously, but the agencies say that Vitamins A and C are no longer required to be listed but manufacturers can voluntarily add them.
“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.
The changes must be made two years from May 20, 2016. Businesses with under $10 million in yearly food sales will get an extra year. You can read more about the label changes here, and see the changes to the label below.
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