HUNTINGTON, NY – If you’ve been reading the food labels on items before you buy them, no matter how intelligent and savvy you are it may sometimes seem like you need an advanced degree in nutrition to understand the information provided. In an effort to make information may consumer-friendly, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is taking steps to demystify the sometimes confusing information contained on food labels.
The FDA announced today that packaged food labels will include more information and feature serving sizes that are closer to what people actually consume. A Huntington Hospital nutritionist thinks this is a step in the right direction.
“The nutrition facts label has never been as intuitive as we need it to be,” said Stephanie Schiff, RDN, nutritionist at Huntington Hospital. “Hopefully, these changes will make the labels easier to read and understand.”
One of the changes in food labels is that added sugars will be incorporated, so people can see what sugars naturally occur in an item and what has been modified.
Ms. Schiff strikes a note of caution when it comes to increasing serving sizes to what people “typically” eat.
“For years our portion sizes have become larger and larger, and I think we still need to focus on what an appropriate portion size is,” Ms. Schiff said. “While this change may better indicate the nutrients present in a more accurate serving size, we don’t want to have people assume that larger portions are okay. Portion control is one of the keys to weight control and a healthy diet.”