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Unpacking Packaged Foods: Understanding The New Nutrition Labels

(Susan Blumenthal, M.D., Former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General) On May 20, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new federal guidelines for nutrition labeling, announced by First Lady Michelle Obama at the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit...
The labels are designed to help people make more informed choices about what foods and beverages they are consuming. While the general format of the new nutrition label is similar to the original format, a few important changes have been made, including:
·         Larger, bolded font for the calorie count
·         Larger serving sizes that are more representative of how much people actually eat
·         Inclusion of the grams of added sugar and the percent daily value
·         Dual columns listing the nutritional content for packages that could reasonably be eaten in one sitting, comparing nutritional information for an individual serving with the contents of the entire package
·         Revised percent daily value of nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber, and Vitamin D based on the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans
·         Removal of “calories from fat” from the label
·         Adding grams and percent daily value of Vitamin D, potassium, calcium and iron to the label
·         Removing percent daily value of Vitamins A and C from the label
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