5 Changes You Can Expect to See on the Nutrition Facts Label

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on May 24, 2016

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Have you heard? On May 20th, the FDA announced new changes coming to the nutrition label of food products. Why? Well, the current label is over 20 years old. On their website the FDA states that The changes announced today are based on updated scientific information, new nutrition and public health research, more recent dietary recommendations from expert groups, and input from the public.”

So here are the key changes you can except to see phase in (or out) over the next couple of years.

1. Bold Font


Just so you don’t miss it, the type size for calories, servings per container and serving size will be larger and bolded. Here’s an before and after example.

nutritionlabel

This is to help consumers focus on calories and how much they are eating. Whether it will make a difference or not remains to be seen but it will make the label easier to read.

2. Required Nutrient Changes

The vitamins and minerals required for labels are changing. No longer will vitamins A and C be required. Now vitamin D and potassium will be listed along with iron and calcium. This is because vitamin D and potassium are nutrients of public health concern. And in addition to % Daily Value (DV), they will provide how many grams the serving contains. Of course, companies can voluntarily include any nutrient they want but these four — calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin D — are required on packages.

3. Updated Daily Values

You can expect changes to the Daily Values for sodium, fiber and vitamin D to reflect the Institute of Medicine and new reports like the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Daily Values help consumers understand how the nutrients in the food relate to a day’s worth of eating. New verbiage for Daily Values on packages include “The % Daily Value tells  you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”

4. New Added Sugar Info

One of the most exciting changes to the label is will include added sugars along with a Daily Value for sugar which is 10% of calories. This will help consumers understand how much sugar is added to the product versus natural sources of sugar (like lactose in milk versus added sweeteners). This makes a difference when choosing flavored yogurts, tomato-based sauces and milk drinks.

5. Different Serving Sizes

According to the FDA: “By law, serving sizes must be based on amounts of foods and beverages that people are actually eating, not what they should be eating.” And because how much  people typically eat has increased, serving sizes need to change too.

One example is a serving of ice cream is going from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup. Also, packages that contain two or less servings where people are likely to eat or drink it in one sitting, like a 20-ounce soda, will now show the unit as one serving. For other products that are a bit bigger but still could be eaten in one sitting, there will be a dual column for calories for “per serving” and “per package,” as shown below.

Dual_Column

All of these changes seem to make sense and will make the label easier to read and less confusing.

So what do you think? Do you like the changes?

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What Harping on a Child’s Weight Looks Like 20 Years Later

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on May 11, 2016

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She was in the 4th grade when she realized her body was wrong. “It’s probably from eating all that pizza and ice cream. It tastes good, doesn’t it? But it makes your body big and fat,” said her pediatrician during a check-up, detailed in this post by My Fat Friend on Medium.com. “Just imagine that your body is made out of clay. If you can just stay the same weight, as you grow, you’ll stretch out. And once you grow up, you’ll be thin and beautiful. Won’t that be great?”

Was the girl’s reaction to be healthy and take care of herself? No. Instead, this is what happened: “I felt my face sear with shame. My skin was neon, hot and bright, noisy and garish. I had learned so much in that one moment: You’re eating too much junk food. You’re not beautiful. You’re indulging too much. Your body is wrong. You must have done it. Something was wrong with my body. I’d failed a test I didn’t even know I’d taken.”


This led to years of hating her body, weight loss, binge eating and weight gain. Not such a surprise when you consider we live in a society that sells weight as the be-all, end-all of health and happiness. But all chasing the perfect weight does it is create shame of the worse kind, and a lifetime of suffering. click to continue

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Dinner Rotation: April-May

April 28, 2016
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I hope you all are well. Sorry I missed posting my last meal rotation. I don’t know about you but here in San Diego it’s become warm (although not today) and summer buzz is in the air. So Thursdays will be grill nights as we gear up for summer grilling. Since my husband is in […]




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Want to Strengthen Your Child’s Self-Control Muscle? Avoid This Common Feeding Mistake

April 20, 2016
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This is part of an ongoing series on moderation. It’s in preparation for my next book and includes expert interviews, the latest research and expert tips. Sign up for my updates to get these posts and subscriber discounts including FREE e-book offers. Since I started blogging I’ve consistently received the same question from parents. It […]




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The Power of Paying Attention at Meals

April 12, 2016
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This is part of an ongoing series on moderation. It’s in preparation for my next book and includes expert interviews, the latest research and expert tips. Sign up for my updates to get these posts and subscriber discounts including FREE e-book offers. As a young child, I remember sitting down to family dinners but this […]




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3 Things Carb-Loving Children Wish Their Parents Knew

March 30, 2016
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This is part of an ongoing series on moderation. It’s in preparation for my next book and includes expert interviews, the latest research and expert tips. Sign up for my updates to get these posts and subscriber discounts including FREE e-book offers. You serve dinner with all the food groups and your kids first reach […]

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Transform Your Family’s Food Culture with this 4-Step Mindful Strategy

March 15, 2016
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This is part of an ongoing series on moderation. It’s in preparation for my next book and includes expert interviews, the latest research and expert tips. Sign up for my updates to get these posts and subscriber discounts including FREE e-book offers. Have you ever thought about your family’s unique food culture? Does everyone enjoy […]

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Dinner Rotation: February-March

March 2, 2016
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We are moving right into Spring! One change to my dinner rotation is “No Meat Fridays” because we are Catholic and observe Lent. This thrills me as I love vegetarian meals and my husband has to be supportive. Last Friday, we tried something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: salad bar night. Little […]

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How I’m Getting My Family Out of Our Restaurant Rut

February 23, 2016
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It’s Saturday afternoon, the day I typically don’t cook dinner, and time to pick a restaurant. We either meet up family or friends or go somewhere on our own. We have a handful of go-to places: a burger joint, Mexican place and Greek restaurant, but our list always feels inadequate. I like the idea of […]

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5 Truths About Food Addiction Most People Don’t Know

February 10, 2016
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“These cookies are so addicting! I could never keep them in my house.” That’s what the woman at the party said to me as she reached for another helping of double chocolate chip cookies. When it comes to children, parents are acutely aware of the food addiction phenomenon too. I often get emails from parents […]

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