The American FDA is currently in the process of revamping their nutrional labeling of food products, in order to make these labels more useful and user-friendly.
Some of the key proposed changes:
· The number of calories will be in a larger font
· The amount of added sugar will be specified
· An increase in serving size, so that the calorie count per serving reflects the amount of food that people actually eat in one serving
While I like the first two changes, I take issue to the idea of increasing serving sizes on labels. (For example, they have suggested that ‘one serving’ of ice cream should now be one cup, rather than half a cup.) While I agree that it’s important that the calorie count reflects what people are actually eating, I feel that this sends out the wrong message, as people often use the suggested serving size on a label as an indicator of the serving size they should be eating. We know that portion sizes have grown by 300-400% over the last 30 years, to the point where the typical serving size is way oversized – to put these oversize portions on labels risks encouraging servings to be larger, rather than the size they actually should be.
I’m keen to hear feedback about this – please feel free to comment online (click on the little envelope at the end of this post) – for subscribers, click on the link in the title of your subscription email and it will take you there.
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