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Watch Out For These 5 Key Changes on Food Labels

May 23, 2016 05:29 AM EDT
Ice cream and Waffle
According to studies, two-thirds of American adults are considered overweight or obese.
(Photo : Rizka Budiati Szkutnik)

The tiny nutrition facts panel at the back of food packs will get a makeover, and this will hopefully help Americans make healthier food choices.

First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Friday the changes on the nutrition labels. Here are some of the key changes in the revamped nutrition facts panel:

1.     Calories. The new calories section will feature bolder font, which will make it easier for people to read how much calories they are about to consume

2.     Sugars. Food manufacturers should be able to reflect on the food label how much sugar has been added to the food. Manufacturers should also tell how many percent of the daily recommended calorie allowance it represents.

3.     Serving size. The serving sizes will be updated to fit better with the amount of food a person actually consumes.

4.     Footnote. The footnote will be updated to better explain the percentage of Daily Value and will tell how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet.

5.     Nutrients required. Two new vitamins and minerals will be added to the revamped nutrition panels: Potassium and Vitamin D. According to studies, Americans are not getting enough potassium and vitamin D in their diets.

These changes are the first updates to nutrition panels in about 20 years. Bigger food manufacturers are given between two years to comply with these new requirements. Small-sized manufacturers whose sales are less than $10 million, will be given an extra year to update their food labels.

According to the studies, more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight and obese. The FDA said that the changes in the food labels are a "major step" in addressing these problems and will provide the needed nutritional information.

"The updated label makes improvements to this valuable resource so consumers can make more informed food choices," Dr. Robert Califf, FDA commissioner, said in a report in CNN.

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