Nutrition Labels Get Overhaul

The revision comes as the result of today’s better understanding of nutrition science and what people should look for on a label.

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing changes to nutrition labels on packaged foods and beverages for the first time in the 20-plus years since they were mandated in 1990. If approved, the updated design will emphasize total calories, serving size, Daily Values, added sugars, and additional nutrients, making it easier for consumers to find information.

The revision comes as the result of today’s better understanding of nutrition science and what people should look for on a label. Serving sizes, for example, have changed in the last 20 years. The new label proposal would include serving sizes based on what people actually eat rather than on what they should eat. Thus, packaged foods and beverages typically eaten in one sitting would be labeled as a single serving, reflecting the entire contents.

The new design will make important features more prominent. Percent Daily Value (%DV), which indicates how much of certain nutrients the food provides in the context of a total daily diet, is listed along the left of the label. The proposed label also includes the amount of added sugar, vitamin D, and potassium in food products, while removing the amount of calories from fat.

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