The First Lady Michelle Obama and Food and Drug Administration Commisioner Margaret Hamburg spoke today introduced a proposal for new nutrition facts labels to help consumers make healthier eating choices, and reflect more accurate serving sizes. Have you ever eaten a bag of potato chips, only to look at the nutrition facts and realize you had eight servings at 200 calories per serving? With the modified labels, the nutrition facts would reflect the whole volume as one serving size and help you comprehend just how much you are consuming of your daily intake.
Michelle Obama said Thursday that American families will benefit from the modified nutrition labels.
“Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family,” Obama said in an FDA news release. “So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.” (Source)
The proposed changes would remove the “calories from fat” in favor of total calories for each serving. It is now widely viewed that the type of fats you ingest are more important than the calories themselves, so the fat vs. unsaturated fat and trans fat line would remain. Additionally, the new labels will emphasize added sugars and specific nutrients such as potassium and Vitamin D.
While sugars are seen as something Americans do not know how much they are over consuming, there has been a notable deficiency in Vitamin D and potassium in the average American diet. The labels, if passed, will certainly help Americans become more aware of important nutrition facts such as calories, sugars, fats and vitamins if they care to look. Or at the least, we’ll know exactly what those bags of chips are putting in our bodies.