Tuesday, February 25, 2014

White House changes school-food guidelines, nutrition labels

Posted by on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

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It's not just school lunches that are getting attention from the White House. Updates to nutrition labels will be announced later this week, according to anonymous sources talking to POLITICO and Bloomberg.

From the former:
Food policy experts are guessing that the changes will result in calories being displayed more prominently and serving sizes more in line with what American consumers are actually eating.

Other changes, which could be unveiled with multiple format options, might include dropping and adding certain nutrients from the list of vitamins and minerals with daily value percentages, dropping the requirement to list “calories from fat” or adding whole wheat percentages. Most experts expect the FDA will require more accurate serving sizes, as the current labels are based on decades old data on consumer consumption.
From the latter:
The government is largely playing catch-up as the nation’s eating habits, food trends and advancements in obesity research have evolved since 1993, when food labels bearing basic calorie counts and fat grams became standard. The new labels will likely make calories more prominent, differentiate between natural and added sugars and make serving sizes more realistic.
That first attempt was an interesting time, according to D.C. lawyer Bruce Silverglade, who worked on the standards at the time.

"We wanted the nutrient content of foods to be expressed both 1) in terms of a customary serving of the food; and 2) in terms that would enable the public to understand whether a serving of the food had relatively high or low amounts of each nutrient listed. ...

"Looking back, requirements for mandatory nutrition labeling did not provide all of the benefits that were anticipated."

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