52ºF

New labels on food packing are meant to help consumers make better choices

Some companies have until 2021 to comply

DETROIT – Have you noticed new nutrition labels popping up on some foods? This year the Food and Drug Administration put new rules in place to help consumers make better choices.

The idea behind the change is to give consumers a more accurate reflection as to what and how much they’re actually eating. The first step is doing away with unrealistically small serving sizes. Now there will be two columns. One will be for a serving size and the other is for how much is in the entire package.

Cleveland Clinic Psychologist Susan Albers said many people didn’t realize they were actually eating two or three serving sizes in one sitting. Types of fat, like less-healthy saturated fats and trans fats will now be listed in addition to the total amount of fat.

Vitamin 'D' and potassium totals have been added. While listings for vitamins C and A have been dropped, that’s because many Americans are lacking Vitamin D while deficiencies in Vitamins C and A are rare. Consumers will also see a new listing for added sugars.

The new labels are showing up in stores now, but only manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual sales were required to switch by Jan. 1. Other companies have until 2021 to comply.


About the Authors: