Revamped Food Labels to Highlight Sugar, Calories


Those "nutrition facts" you see on food labels on nearly every package in grocery stores soon will be getting a new look.

The changes will emphasize the number of calories with larger, bolder type. For the first time, they will also show whether foods have added sugars.

A new proposal from the Food and Drug Administration aims to make nutrition labels more accurate and easier to understand.

First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the new standards today from the White House.

"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," Mrs. Obama said.

If the changes are approved, they would include bigger, bolder calorie counts, more emphasis placed on added sugars and nutrients, like Vitamin D and Potassium, and serving sizes that reflect portions people actually eat.

"The old label was based on what people were actually eating, but that was 50 years ago," Marion Nestle, professor at New York University, said. "Things have changed, portion sizes have gotten much larger."

For example, a single serving of ice cream will increase from a half of a cup to a full cup, and a 12 oz. or 20 oz. bottle of soda will be considered one serving.

If the new label proposals are adopted, it will cost food companies about $2 billion. But they'll have a few years before they're forced to comply with the new standards.

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