The Nutrition Fact Label Is Changing, Find Out Why

Nutrition Fact Label guidelines are updated by the Food and Drug Administration to help Americans meet their dietary goals and reduce the chronic disease that is so widespread in our nation now. These updates are based on the most recent scientific research. The alterations are made with the consumer in mind, in order to make it easier for consumers to decide on food products. Beginning in June 2016, there were some changes to nutrition fact labels. These changes were required to be met by July 26, 2018. However, the Trump administration has delayed these actions until at least January 1, 2020, even though many companies have already been implementing these changes to the many of their labels. This is pertinent information to the average consumer since these changes will include: 

  • Serving sizes updates to reflect realistic portion sizes consumed
  • Emphasis on calorie information
  • Updates on Daily Value numbers
  • “Total Sugars” reflecting added sugars as well
  • Requirement of vitamins K & D (as well as keeping Calcium & Iron values)
  • Elimination of vitamins A & C from nutrition labels

Originally, by June 18, 2018, manufacturers would also need to ensure that their products are not made with partially hydrogenated oils or they must be authorized to use them by the FDA. Another major change involving food consumption mandates is that, by July 26, 2018, vending machines with glass must comply with a specific list of vending machine glass-front authorized products.

Added Sugars Included in the Total

It’s very evident, among other healthful lifestyle changes, that Americans need to reduce their caloric intake from added sugars. The recommendation is 10 percent or less of their caloric intake. However, Americans tend to consume about 13 percent! Since the term “added sugars” means sugars added during food processing or packaging, these calories can come from many different aspects of our diets but are especially relevant in our consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, and desserts. The “added sugar” on the label provides information that enables consumers to make choices to help them follow a healthy diet and reduce their risk of chronic disease. This is done by adding a subcategory under the “total sugars” on the label that lists “added sugars” to show what is added during processing. 

Trans Fat

Trans fats remain on the nutrition fact labels to give the information needed to promote healthy practices by the consumers.

Increase in Vitamins D & K

Vitamins D & K are added to the nutrition fact labels, simply because there is a need in the U.S. diet for both of these nutrients. They were added to the label to further increase consumer knowledge and promote consumption of these vitamins.

Vitamins A & C

Vitamins A & C are no longer needed on the nutrition fact labels, since there isn’t evidence of widespread deficiency in the U.S. like in years past. 

Serving Size

Serving size will change according to the amount of the product that is consumed more realistically. Therefore, nutrient amounts will then also properly reflect accurate servings consumed.