New and improved nutrition labels

On May 20th, First Lady, and health advocate, Michelle Obama unveiled the new nutrition labels that will be used on every day food packaging. The new label does look a lot like the old one, as it keeps the same black and white two column structure and highlights many of the same categories. Designers have praised this look over the years for its simplicity and easy to understand nutritional information. While the label does not appear to be much different, some categories are now emphasized more than others, and the way some numbers are calculated has changed.

With increase in disease and illness caused by unhealthy diet choices in the U.S., the updated nutrition labels represent a loss for the food industry which has fought against updating the labels as they are partly responsible for over large amount of added sugar and calories that are in our foods.imgres

Among the changes that are taking place, the most significant one to note is the bold and enlarging of the calories and serving sizes. This is the most controversial change made on the labels, as they now represent how much people currently should eat, rather than how much the food companies deems reasonable to eat. “The intention is not to tell consumers what to eat, but rather to make sure they have the tools and accurate information they need to choose foods that are right for themselves and their families,” Susan Mayne, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a conference call with reporters.

Other important changes to note are the new added sugars tab, updated daily values, changes in nutrients and percentage amounts, and a new footnote added at the bottom of the label. These changes are expected to cost the food companies millions of dollars, as they will have to adjust the new criteria and reformulate portions of their recipes.

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