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Proposed FDA Nutrition Label Changes FDS Nutrition Label Changes Menu Labeling Update: FDA Finalizes Guidance

Written by Beth Vessels 09 May 2016

Based on the FDA's proposal, these could be the most impactful changes to the Nutrition Label:

NewLabel Infographic

Tagged under FDA Nutrition Label Changes new nutrition label Nutrition Facts Label

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Proposed FDA Nutrition Label Changes FDS Nutrition Label Changes Menu Labeling Update: FDA Finalizes Guidance

Written by Beth Vessels 09 May 2016

Based on the FDA's proposal, these could be the most impactful changes to the Nutrition Label:

NewLabel Infographic

Tagged under FDA Nutrition Label Changes new nutrition label Nutrition Facts Label nutrition labeling

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Important Questions Regarding the FDA’s New Nutrition Facts Label

Written by Beth Vessels 17 August 2015

The FDA recently published a supplemental rule that establishes a Daily Reference Value
(DRV) for added sugars on the food labeling of American food products. Initially proposed in March of
2014, the requirement has been a hotly-contested feature of nutrition labeling reform in recent
years. Aimed to "...assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices" the new
information "...is consistent with current data on the associations between nutrients and chronic
diseases or health-related conditions, reflects current public health conditions in the United
States, and corresponds to new information on consumer behavior and consumption patterns."
In a prior review of American dietary habits, the FDA determined that solid fats and added
sugars make up inordinate proportions of American diets. On average, 35 percent of these
calories provide no nutritional benefits and add to weight management issues.

Consequences for Food Manufacturers

In the face of growing rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes among the American
populace, the new rules take a clear shot at the processed foods industry in the United States. It
remains unclear what cost the new regulations will exact upon food manufacturers and their
profit margins. Aimed primarily to increase awareness of the adverse effects of added sugars,
the new food labeling provisions will ensure the following of American food products:
An established DRV of 10 percent of total personal caloric intake from added sugars, or 200
such calories for the average American consumer.
A required statement of the products' added sugars as per percentage of daily value.
The presentation of a clear, simplified footnote on nutrition labels, stating " The % Daily Value
tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day
is used for general nutrition advice."

Departmental Inconsistencies

In their explanation of the new rules, the FDA cites findings from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines
Advisory Committee (DGAV). To wit, the FDA "...considered the scientific evidence that the
DGAC used, which showed that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie
requirements if one exceeds 10 percent of total calories from added sugar, and has determined
that this information supports this daily value for added sugars. The DGAC also recommended
that Americans limit their added sugars intake to less than 10 percent of total calories."
Curiously, while the FDA has taken strongly to the DGAV's suggestions, neither the Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) nor the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
has followed suit and adopted the regulations into the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Tagged under food labeling FDA proposed changes FDA Nutrition Label Changes FDA regulations food label

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Important Questions Regarding the FDA’s New Nutrition Facts Label

Written by Beth Vessels 17 August 2015
Sugar
The FDA recently published a supplemental rule that establishes a Daily Reference Value
(DRV) for added sugars on the food labeling of American food products. Initially proposed in March of
2014, the requirement has been a hotly-contested feature of nutrition labeling reform in recent
years. Aimed to "...assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices" the new
information "...is consistent with current data on the associations between nutrients and chronic
diseases or health-related conditions, reflects current public health conditions in the United
States, and corresponds to new information on consumer behavior and consumption patterns."
In a prior review of American dietary habits, the FDA determined that solid fats and added
sugars make up inordinate proportions of American diets. On average, 35 percent of these
calories provide no nutritional benefits and add to weight management issues.

Consequences for Food Manufacturers

In the face of growing rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes among the American
populace, the new rules take a clear shot at the processed foods industry in the United States. It
remains unclear what cost the new regulations will exact upon food manufacturers and their
profit margins. Aimed primarily to increase awareness of the adverse effects of added sugars,
the new food labeling provisions will ensure the following of American food products:
An established DRV of 10 percent of total personal caloric intake from added sugars, or 200
such calories for the average American consumer.
A required statement of the products' added sugars as per percentage of daily value.
The presentation of a clear, simplified footnote on nutrition labels, stating " The % Daily Value
tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day
is used for general nutrition advice."

Departmental Inconsistencies

In their explanation of the new rules, the FDA cites findings from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines
Advisory Committee (DGAV). To wit, the FDA "...considered the scientific evidence that the
DGAC used, which showed that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie
requirements if one exceeds 10 percent of total calories from added sugar, and has determined
that this information supports this daily value for added sugars. The DGAC also recommended
that Americans limit their added sugars intake to less than 10 percent of total calories."
Curiously, while the FDA has taken strongly to the DGAV's suggestions, neither the Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) nor the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
has followed suit and adopted the regulations into the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Tagged under food labeling FDA proposed changes FDA Nutrition Label Changes FDA regulations food label

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Infographic of Key Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label

Written by Beth Vessels 07 July 2015
Nutrition Facts Label


The Canadian federal government has cooked up something sweet for its citizens—especially for those concerned about what they’re eating.


A major proposed change to nutrition labels for packaged foods (based on feedback from over 10,000 surveyed Canadians) would see all sugars grouped together in a single measurement, allowing consumers to quickly determine the total sugar content (including added sugar) in every food and drink. The change would also include a recommendation from health regulators that consumers limit their sugar consumption to 100 grams per day. That’s equal to three cans of soda, or 16 sugar cubes (represented by the middle-sized bottle of Coca-Cola below):


SugarStacks

Credit: SugarStacks.com


In addition to this potentially historic change, here’s the full list of new features that would appear on Canadian nutrition labels. They would:


  • Regulate serving sizes to make them consistent and realistic.


  • Make it easier to find information on serving size and calories.


  • Add a footnote at the bottom of the nutrition facts table to explain how to use percent daily value (% DV).


  • Improve the labelling of sugars. A new % DV for sugars will tell Canadians whether a food has a little or a lot of sugars. In the list of ingredients, sugars will be grouped.


  • Make the ingredient list and information on allergens easier to find and read.


  • Identify food colours by their common name in the list of ingredients.


  • Allow the use of a new health claim: “A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits may help reduce the risk of heart disease.”


To help visualize the proposed changes, here is a detailed diagram of how the new label would look:


Nutrition Facts

Ingredients

Credit: healthycanadians.gc.ca


Even for those who don’t live in Canada, this proposition could have far-reaching effects. Here are five likely outcomes:


1. U.S. companies may begin selling Canada-specific products


Based on the United States’ history with food regulation, it’s unlikely that our government will attempt to limit our sugar intake. But because many U.S. FMCG businesses sell in Canada, they will have to either modify their offerings or develop new Canada-only products that comply with the new label regulations. This could affect business structures, and bring healthier options to the market.


2. The U.S. will face pressure from food NGOs to follow suit


The idea of reducing sugar intake to 100g per day didn’t originate in Canada, but with the World Health Organization (WHO), which actually suggested an even lower daily intake for sugars.


The sensational documentary Supersize Me managed to convince McDonald's, one of the world’s largest food companies, to change its offerings. The fast food franchise started selling salads and offering healthier alternatives. It even eliminated its “Supersize” offering. Should Canada’s proposed regulations pass, similar pressure could hit the U.S. FCMG.


3. We will gain a better sense of Daily Values


Did you know that 5% of something is “a little” and that 15% or more is “a lot?”


While adding this disclaimer to nutritional labels may not be the most comprehensive solution, sometimes these small, helpful reminders resonate most strongly with consumers. Would people start avoiding foods with more than 15% fat or sugar? Probably not in significant numbers--but it would certainly help consumers begin to recognize the content of their meals more accurately.


4. More people will start reading the “Ingredients” list


Nutrition labels list ingredients with complex and confusing chemical names, similar ingredients aren’t necessarily grouped, and the text is small, making the types of food extremely difficult to read.


The new Canadian nutrition labels would fix these issues, which could prompt more people to read the lists carefully, and in turn lead to more nutrition-conscious consumers, and a healthier society.


5. There will be more transparency in net weight and serving size


The biggest change for Canadian consumers is that the proposed nutrition labelling system will be more transparent. Part of that transparency must include an explanation (or at least a set of standards) explaining how net weight and serving size are measured.

Tagged under FDA Nutrition Label Changes health canada proposed nutrition label changes food labelss

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