Nutritional labels get a facelift; media very, very impressed
posted at 12:37 pm on February 27, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
Politico says, “FLOTUS goes big on food label changes“:
The Obama administration has unveiled the most sweeping update to nutrition labeling on food packages in more than two decades — and Americans are in for a reality check about how many calories and how much sugar they are consuming.
What’s considered a serving size would get larger, the type used to display calories would get bolder and added sugars would have to be listed on about 700,000 consumer products — from cereal to energy drinks — in a proposal released Thursday morning by the Food and Drug Administration.
CBS says that labels are “finally undergoing a makeover,” and that it’s really sciencey:
Nutrition fact labels are finally undergoing a makeover. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed new changes to labels on food packaging that are aimed at making them easier to understand — the first major update since about 1994.
Under the changes, serving sizes will be made easier to understand, calories will be featured more prominently and for the first time, added sugars will be included.
The label updates aim to incorporate the new science that has since come out on how eating foods might raise risk for obesity and chronic disease, according to the FDA. For example, old labels focused more on fats, but calorie consumption is what really drives weight gain and obesity, researchers have since determined.
“Our guiding principle here is very simple: that 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,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”
Er, sure. Want to see the makeover? CBS has the side-by-side comparison:
It’s not the Titanic, but it’s really just rearranging deck chairs. It’s not providing any new information except “added sugars,” which isn’t all that different nutritionally from overall sugars. It leaves out the RDA information, at least for the moment. This is the least-caloric nothingburger one can imagine, and yet this is all over the news today.
By the way, has anyone ever checked to see whether having this information — as good as it is, and I do use it myself — actually has an impact on obesity? Because it certainly doesn’t with calorie counts on restaurant menus.