FDA proposes to change nutrition labels to improve health

FDA revamps nutrition labels

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - If you go into a store and grab food off the shelf, one of the first things you might do is look at the nutrition label. The Federal Drug Administration is proposing a complete makeover to the current labels we see.

One of the changes the FDA wants to see has to do with serving sizes. For example, a bottle of coke would be labeled in one serving, so you know, how much you're taking in if you drink the whole bottle.

When nutrition labels were first created, they focused on the amount of fat in a food, but nutritionists say we eat differently today and should be more concerned with our calorie consumption.

Other proposed revisions include large and bold calorie counts. The agency wants labels to be more realistic to what we actually eat. Instead of seeing a half a cup on an ice cream label, you'll see a serving closer to what you may consume in one sitting, like a full cup.

The FDA wants the amount of added sugars to be clear on the label as well because on average 16 percent of the calories we eat come from added sugar.

Another proposed change would include information about whether the food has nutrients the US population is not getting enough of, like Vitamin D, which is important for bone health and Potassium which can lower blood sugar.

This is all towards the fight against obesity which, according to DHEC, impacts our area greatly. Three of every five adults in South Carolina are overweight.

Recent USDA research found more Americans are making use of nutrition information. Between 40 to 60 percent of all adults reported using the Nutrition facts as a guide when making choices, seeing these facts more clearly may impact the decisions we choose to make.

The FDA expects food companies will have to pay around $2 billion to change the labels. The new rules will go into effect two years after plans the are finalized so it may be several years before you actually see these changes.

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