Food labels get makeover

CHARLES CITY, Iowa – It’s now 20 years in the making, but the Food and Drug Administration is in the process of changing the way you look at nutrition facts.

Sugar, sodium and most importantly calories are now more prominent and easier to read than ever before.

“I was told food could be your medicine or it could be your poison,” said Carrie Manneter.

It took a doctor’s advice for Carrie Manneter to begin reading labels and watching her sodium intake, but now she considers herself a natural.

“People can see what they’re eating and the calories kind of stick out a lot better and I think people can see exactly how it could affect them,” said Stephanie Wharton.

Stephanie Wharton is a registered Dietitian with Hy-Vee of Charles City and says new labels will only help a growing trend she’s noticed in recent years.

“I see people turning products over and looking at labels all the time whether they’re looking at calories maybe they’re looking at something else but maybe this will focus that calories are actually important too,” said Wharton.

“I think it will make a big difference now they’re pretty small and I know a lot of people get confused with if one item has five servings they don’t realize that they’re getting five times the amount of calories,” said Jason Korbel of Charles City.

These changes won’t be free though, they could cost the food packaging industry $2 billion.

However, the trade-off would be *$20 billion in added benefits. That’s assuming consumers would eat more responsibly.

The FDA is hoping more realistic serving sizes will help combat obesity around the country. According to the FDA, more than 17 percent of foods will have new serving sizes.

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