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FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION UPDATES NUTRITION LABELS

By Sarah Busdon

By 2018, nutrition labels will more clearly show how much sugar is in food. Public domain image, accessed via www.fda.gov
By 2018, nutrition labels will more clearly show how much sugar is in food. Public domain image, accessed via www.fda.gov

Nutrition labels give you a glimpse into how healthy your food is and, after more than 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called for a complete makeover of nutrition labels. By 2018, food companies will have implemented significant changes to their nutrition labels. They will be required to single out added sugars-sweeteners in foods, as opposed to those that occur naturally, like those in fruit.

The FDA says people get about 13 percent of their daily calories from added sugars, often in sugary drinks. The new label will give you a more accurate picture of sweeteners added during manufacturing. Here are some changes you can expect to see in 2018: serving size adjustments, changes in the nutrient details, the addition of certain nutrients that Americans typically lack (i.e., Vitamin D and potassium), a new footnote, calorie number recommendation, and daily value updates.

Marion Nestle, a nutrition expert at New York University, stated, “It will be easier for shoppers to tell how much sugar is in food and ought to encourage food companies to reduce the amounts. These changes are cause for celebration.”

Sarah Busdon in an administrative assistant with University of Idaho’s Blaine County Extension office. For more information, visit extension.uidaho.edu/blaine or call 208-788-5585.

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