May 20, 2016
2 min read

FDA finalizes improved Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods

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The FDA has unveiled updated Nutrition Facts labelling for packaged foods, according to a press release.

The new label, which features different formatting and additional information, was designed to help consumers make healthy food choices.

“For more than 20 years, Americans have relied on the Nutrition Facts label as a leading source of information regarding calories, fat and other nutrients to help them understand more about the foods they eat in a day,” Robert Califf, MD, FDA commissioner, said in the release. “The updated label makes improvements to this valuable resource so consumers can make more informed food choices — one of the most important steps a person can take to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity.”

Michelle Obama

Source: Allison Gertel-Rosenberg

“I am thrilled that the FDA has finalized a new and improved Nutrition Facts label that will be on food products nationwide,” first lady Michelle Obama said in the release. “This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices.”

The FDA highlighted key updates to the Nutrition Facts label, including:

  • an emphasis on both calories and servings, in part by making the font larger;
  • serving sizes that more accurately reflect the amount of food that people eat instead of what companies think people should be eating;
  • the addition of grams and a percent daily value for 'added sugars' separate from 'total sugars;'
  • "dual column" labels that specify nutrition information both per serving and per package for specific multiserving food products;
  • the inclusion of updated Institute of Medicine recommendations and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans for daily values such as vitamin D, dietary fiber and sodium;
  • gram amounts of potassium and vitamin D in addition to the percent daily value;
  • the removal of 'calories from fat,' which stresses the importance of type of fat; and
  • a new footnote that explains the percent daily value.

According to the FDA, the agency is also making changes to the Supplement Facts label used for dietary supplements that are consistent with the Nutrition Facts changes.

The majority of manufacturers will be required to use the new label by July 26, 2018. Food manufacturers that have less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an extra year to implement the new rules.