Food labels are changing for the first time in 20 years in an effort to continue the fight against obesity. They will begin prominently displaying things like calories for the typical serving size for regular people, not supermodels.
They will also have to clearly state added sugars like corn syrup, white and brown sugar, and fruit juice concentrate, according to Reuters.
Michelle Obama, champion of the “Let’s Move” Campaign, made the big announcement on Thursday on behalf of the FDA.
She explained in a statement the principle behind the new label concept, saying it is “very simple”. She added, “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.”
That will be nice to not have to become a detective every time you enter the grocery store in order to decode food labels and add up calories because obviously, no one eats half a cup of ice cream.
Dr. David Kessler, former Commissioner of the FDA, said the new label are a “critically important” advance in the way food is presented to the consumer.
“The food label is not just about giving consumers information but about creating incentives for the industry to create healthier products. No company wants their product to look bad on the food label.”
The updates won’t be immediate. In fact, you may not see widespread use of them for up to 3 years. The transition begins with a 90-day public comment period, then the FDA will finalize the rules. After rules are finalized, food companies have 2 whole years to comply.
Current FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg stated that the proposed label change reflects what “has been learned about the connection between what we eat and the development of serious chronic diseases impacting millions of Americans.”
Perhaps this will be a good weapon in the already fairly successful fight against the American obesity epidemic.
Image via Wikimedia Commons