The Obama administration is proposing a remodel of the current Nutrition Label that appears on our food packages. Here is a sample of the new label. The changes include:
For the most part I like the proposed changes. Personally, I read all that already so other than the fact I may not need my glasses to see the calorie count, making it bigger is not a big deal. I do think the bolder calorie count will be helpful for those who just quickly scan a label, or barely notice it.
I really like having the "added sugars" displayed separately. You can read the ingredients and see if the manufacturer is loading up the product with sugar but I like seeing the percentage of sugar that is in the product before adding sugar. Added sugar is real pet peeve of mine. Take tomato paste for example. Our grocery store has ONE brand that does not have added sugar. Who needs to have sugar added to tomato paste? Sugar is added to foods in epidemic amounts and for the most part it does not need to be there. I just heard a news story yesterday talking about the rampant tooth decay for children between 2 and 7 years old. I'm convinced its from all the sugar packed into every conceivable product from toothpaste to canned beans and Worcestershire sauce.
I'm very mixed on this. I always looked at the serving size as a guideline. If the package says a serving is a 1/4 cup then I thought that was the amount I should be consuming as opposed to maybe the 1 cup I may want to eat. I find that helpful. The proposed change is to change the serving size to what you are more likely to eat. So for example you purchase a 20oz soda and most likely you'll consume the whole thing. Rather than showing the serving size as 10 oz, it will show the serving size as 20oz and this way you'll see clearly the calories and nutritional information for the full 20 oz. In a more perfect world I'd like to see both. If a healthful size serving of rice is 1/4 cup then I want to know that and I can do the math if I decide to eat more. Maybe we could have a "healthy portion" and an "piggy portion"? (Maybe not those terms..) ** Actually I read a dual-column format has been proposed to show you a suggested portion size OR the amount if you consume the whole package. This would be perfect, no math required!
I'm sure the change will have a financial impact on manufactures but in the long haul I think the changes will benefit the consumer even if it adds a few pennies to the price of the food. My only beef is that I'd just like to see portion sizes reflect what we should eat, not the amount we may overeat.
Read author Russ Klettke blog A Guy's Gotta Eat where he keeps us up to date good nutrition and simple meals for a guy on the move.