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The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

FDA proposes changes to nutrition label system

Story by Katie Ericson

Whenever you go grocery shopping or look for a snack, there is something you consult — the food label.

With calorie content, serving size and nutritional values, there  is tons of information on that little square.

But now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is thinking about changing it.

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It does not plan to get rid of the label but wants to update it.

For starters, the FDA want to change the look of the label.

Calorie content will be bolder and bigger. Amounts will be shown as sizes rather than servings.

Percents will be moved to the left to draw more attention, and the footnote will explain the values above rather than list all the ingredients.

The information is also going to be altered.

Added sugars grams will be listed under the sugar value, Vitamin D percentages will take the place of Vitamin A and C and Potassium values will also be listed.

Daily values for nutrients will also be updated, and calories from fat will be removed from the label.

The last big change will be to alter serving sizes.

Labels should give servings based on what people actually eat rather than what they “should” eat.

This means that larger packages of food eaten in one sitting will be shown as one serving.

Foods that could be eaten in portions or as a whole will have to have two labels right next to each other.

These may seem like small changes, but the FDA claims they are important ones.

The original food label was created over 20 years ago, and foods have changed since then.

Portions have increased, dietary needs have changed and manufacturers are using different ingredients.

Using research from several different companies and groups, the FDA has refocused the label to more accurately reflect modern-day eating.

This revision has not been enacted yet.

The plans remain a proposition and are still undergoing discussion.

In fact, the FDA is accepting written and electronic responses to this plan until June 2.

The change seems like a small one, but there is some debate about whether it’s necessary.

Some students do not really care which way the FDA rules.

“I don’t really check the labels,” said sophomore Jeff Mooney. “So it’s not going to really affect me either way.”

Others support the movement. Junior Haley Hicks is all for the change.

“Diets have changed a ton since the 90s, and the label just isn’t accurate any more. They really should fix it,” Hicks said.

But Junior Erin Mercurio disagrees.

“What they put in the food is the same, it’s just a different way of showing it. They’re not actually going to change anything,” Mecurio said.

If interested, you can go to the FDA website to write your opinions on the new nutrition labels. You can also mail them a letter.

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    Gerrie MurrayMar 6, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I am a health care professional & have a concern regarding the proposed changes to the nutrition labels. A major reason for the obesity epidemic is the out of control large portions of food that people consume these days. Most people do not read the food labels anyway but for those who do, will replacing the appropriate portion sizes listed on existing nutrition labels with the larger portion sizes of today’s standards encourage people to over eat?

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