The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new version of the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods—a revision 20 years in the making. And while you may notice several changes, one in particular may stand out more than the others: a designated line for Added Sugars, complete with its very own % Daily Value column.
Consumer health advocates are calling it a victory. They are hopeful that when shoppers are able to see just how much added sugar is in their favorite foods, they will change their habits—and, in turn, put America on a path toward better nutrition and health. Food manufacturers have until the summer of 2018 to comply with the finalized label.
What else is different about the new label?
Other changes include updates to the serving size and daily value information, along with larger and bolder type in some places. Oh, and you’ll no longer see “Calories from Fat” on the label. That’s because the FDA is moving more in line with current research that shows the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount, and beneficial fats such as Omega-3 are an important part of a healthy diet.
In addition, daily values for specific nutrients (such as dietary fiber and vitamin D) have been updated based on the latest scientific information, and the list of nutrients that must be included on each label has been updated to add vitamin D and potassium. Although vitamin A and vitamin C are no longer required to appear on the label, they may be included voluntarily by manufacturers.