New U.S. nutrition labels require added sugars

May 24, 2016 in Healthy Eating, Nutrition Labeling, Nutrition Topics in the News

New U.S. nutrition labels require added sugars

Last week, the US FDA announced a major update of the way packaged foods are labeled. Serving sizes will be adjusted to reflect how much people actually eat (not ideally eat), and for the first time labels will list added sugars.

These are the first significant changes since the Nutrition Facts label was introduced in 1994. They come as an increasing number of Americans battle obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Manufacturers have until July 2018 to comply with the new rule. Small businesses with fewer than $10 million in annual sales have an additional year to comply.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the world's biggest food and drink companies, said the changes were "timely," as diets and eating patterns have changed dramatically over the past two decades.

Larger focus on calories, serving size, added sugars

Under the new regulation, companies will have to provide details on the amount of added sugar such as corn syrup and white and brown sugar.

The number of calories per serving will be listed much larger than anything else on the label, making it hard to overlook.

Information about calories from fat will be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.

The new rules require serving sizes on the label to reflect what, on average, consumers actually eat. About 20 percent of all package labels will be adjusted. Some, such as ice-cream will be adjusted upwards, while others, such as yogurt, will be adjusted downwards.

Click here to see what the new labels will look like

It is unclear how much the new label will actually impact consumer behavior.

Some experts believe the impact will be small because the information is on the back of the package, rather than the front.

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