So if you’ve seen some of my tweets recently, you know I am on a nutrition journey of sorts. If you don’t follow my Twitter, or haven’t seen some of my tweets recently……I’m on a nutrition journey of sorts. I’m going to talk more about this in another post, however, since I want to address changes I will be making to this blog, as well as the overall “mood” of things.
With that being said –> new nutrition labels.
So what’s the fuss?
I have been using My Fitness Pal lately to track my food intake (more on that in later posts), as well as as a resource for recipes, advice, and the like. A couple of days ago, as I was browsing the blog section, I came across an article addressing the changes the FDA plans to implement regarding food labels. Some of the changes I agreed with, others I had a couple qualms about. Before getting into my thoughts on these changes, I am by no means a nutrition expert or anything of that sort. As such, my opinions have no weight, so please don’t read this and get angered or become combative regarding anything I say here. Anything I write is just opinion and should be treated as such. I’m open to discussion, but don’t take anything I say in this post to heart.
**all information is from FDA.gov. For further information on what is discussed below, please refer to this site**
- Design: according to the FDA’s site, the “iconic look” of the nutrition label is here to stay, but there will be an increase to the font size of calories, servings per container, and serving size. The number of calories as well as the serving size will be bolded. I think that these are small, but welcomed changes that will really highlight important information at first glance. Personally, I think that if these numbers jump out at me, and they aren’t satisfactory, I have a more likely chance of just passing on the object. For those who check these things frequently, it should make searching for the information a little faster.
- Minerals&Vitamins: manufacturer’s will now have to write how much, and the percent daily value (which is also going to be explained better, apparently) of Vitamin D, Calcium, Potassium, and Iron. I can’t speak on all of these things, but I know deficiencies are a big deal, especially in this day and age. I think it’s great that these things need to be disclosed, as neglecting to get enough of them can play a more significant role in your health than you think. For example, I know that Vitamin D deficiencies can contribute to extreme fatigue, as well as depression and bone/muscle pain. It goes hand in hand with calcium absorption as well, so I figure that is why these things need to be disclosed (as they all relate to each other).
- Sugar, sugar: “added sugars,” that is, the amount of sugar in a product aside from the naturally occurring sugars, will now have to be listed (in grams). It’s crazy how much extra sugar we consume, here in the U.S. particularly without realizing it. One documentary that really demonstrated this for me is on Netflix, Sugar Coated. I think this is a step in the right direction. We’re addicted!
- “I’m gonna drown my feelings in ice cream”: one of the things I think is great is the addition of a “per package”/”per unit” column for nutrition information. For example, if you’re at the movies and purchase a larger bag of fruit snacks (maybe Welch’s fruit snacks), the serving size may be 50g. When you’re holding a bag of fruit snacks, how the f*ck are you supposed to know what 50 grams is? If not that, who’s trying to eat a small handful of fruit snacks for a 1.5 – 2.5 hour movie? Not me! So, with the new nutrition labels, there would be a label for the regular (or recommended) serving size, as well as a column next to that with a “per package” label of nutrition information since, even though there is a recommended serving, it can be eaten in one sitting. The same may serve for sleeves of cookies/crackers, pints of ice cream, etc… If it’s an item that is between one and two servings, the calories and nutrients will be required to be labeled as one serving since people usually finish it in one sitting.
- “Let Them Eat (More) Cake!”: this was one of the changes I couldn’t tell how I felt about. Basically, serving sizes are supposed to reflect the amounts that people are *actually* eating, “not what they should be eating.” There was where I had my first issue, I was pretty adamant before that the serving sizes shouldn’t get bigger just because people don’t control portions. I still kind of feel like that enforces eating more than needed, when, if people paid more attention to portion sizes, they would learn to eat less (or just the amount they needed). Since serving size requirements have changed, some servings will increase and some will decrease.
Compliance Dates (via FDA.gov)
Manufacturers will need to use the new label by July 26, 2018. However, manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply.
Feel free to browse the site by clicking the link at the beginning of the post if you want to learn more! What are your thoughts about the new labels? What are some things you think should be implemented?