New Food Labels Help for Counting Calories, Sugar

By | January 3, 2020

Jan. 2, 2019 — Grocery shoppers may notice something new on snacks and other packaged foods: It’s an updated nutrition label that’s meant to give consumers enough information to make healthier choices about what and how much they’re eating.

Foods with multiple servings in a single package — like a big bag of potato chips — will now have a two-column label that will list the nutrition information in a single serving alongside the calories, fat, cholesterol, protein, sugar, and sodium in the entire package.

Foods that have between one and two servings, like a 20-ounce bottle of soda or a 15-ounce can of soup, will carry a single label that treats the package as a single serving.

What else is new? Serving sizes on the new labels have been updated to reflect how people really eat. A serving of ice cream, for example, is now two-thirds of a cup instead of a half-cup.

Serving sizes and calories will now appear in larger, bolder type. Most products will also now tell you how much sugar has been added during processing.

The FDA mandated these changes to the nutrition label back in 2016. The changes went into effect for larger food manufacturers on January 1. Smaller manufacturers have another year to update their labels. The FDA also exempted producers of certain sweetened products like honey and cranberries for another year.

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