Category: health

FDA Proposes Most Significant Update to Nutrition Facts Labeling in 20 Year

FDA Proposes Most Significant Update to Nutrition Facts Labeling in 20 Year

The nutrition facts label as you know it will likely be changing soon, thanks to significant changes supported by the Obama administration:

“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. So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”

– First Lady Michelle Obama

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label also would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat, and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes.”

– FDA Announcement


“For 20 years consumers have come to rely on the iconic nutrition label to help them make healthier food choices. To remain relevant, the FDA’s newly proposed Nutrition Facts label incorporates the latest in nutrition science as more has been learned about the connection between what we eat and the development of serious chronic diseases impacting millions of Americans.”

— FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.

Some of the changes to the label the FDA proposed today would:

  • Require information about the amount of “added sugars” in a food product. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that intake of added sugar is too high in the U.S. population and should be reduced. The FDA proposes to include “added sugars” on the label to help consumers know how much sugar has been added to the product.
  • Update serving size requirements to reflect the amounts people currently eat. What and how much people eat and drink has changed since the serving sizes were first put in place in 1994. By law, serving sizes must be based on what people actually eat, not on what people “should” be eating. Present calorie and nutrition information for the whole package of certain food products that could be consumed in one sitting.
  • Present “dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for larger packages that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.
  • Require the declaration of potassium and vitamin D, nutrients that some in the U.S. population are not getting enough of, which puts them at higher risk for chronic disease. Vitamin D is important for its role in bone health. Potassium is beneficial in lowering blood pressure. Vitamins A and C would no longer be required on the label, though manufacturers could declare them voluntarily.
  • Revise the Daily Values for a variety of nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D. Daily Values are used to calculate the Percent Daily Value on the label, which helps consumers understand the nutrition information in the context of a total daily diet.
  • While continuing to require “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “TransFat” on the label, “Calories from Fat” would be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.
  • Refresh the format to emphasize certain elements, such as calories, serving sizes and Percent Daily Value, which are important in addressing current public health problems like obesity and heart disease.

“The proposed updates reflect new dietary recommendations, consensus reports, and national survey data, such as the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutrient intake recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, and intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The FDA also considered extensive input and comments from a wide range of stakeholders.”

“By revamping the Nutrition Facts label, FDA wants to make it easier than ever for consumers to make better informed food choices that will support a healthy diet. To help address obesity, one of the most important public health problems facing our country, the proposed label would drive attention to calories and serving sizes.”

— Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine

“The Nutrition Facts label has been required on food packages for 20 years, helping consumers better understand the nutritional value of foods so they can make healthy choices for themselves and their families. The label has not changed significantly since 2006 when information on trans fat had to be declared on the label, prompting manufacturers to reduce partially hydrogenated oils, the main source oftrans fat, in many of their products.

The changes proposed today affect all packaged foods except certain meat, poultry and processed egg products, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The FDA is also proposing to make corresponding updates to the Supplement Facts label on dietary supplements where applicable.

The agency is accepting public comment on the proposed changes for 90 days.”


10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight

Via Http://

blogosted on January 18, 2011

I watched an excellent programme on BBC1 last night called 10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight, in which medical journalist Michael Mosley investigated the latest scientific breakthroughs in slimming. He uncovered 10 of the simplest ways to shed unwanted pounds.

This show was well researched and had lots of studies to support claims that were made. Two points which I found most interesting were

The Slimming Secrets of Soup A study carried out for the programme found that people who had a solid meal followed by a glass of water became hungry before others who had the same meal but it had been blended into a soup along with the water. This is because the blended meal stays in the stomach for longer and in turn the stomach tell the brain that you are still full. This is great to know because there is such a variety of soups on the market and soup is also relatively easy, cheap and quick to make at home. Click on this link for some tasty ideas

The Brains response after skipping meals Many people skip meals and believe that it will help them to consume less calories throughout the day. The BBC did an experiment for the show 10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight and found that skipping meals actually does the opposite and causes us to eat more. When we skip meals our bodies release a hormone called ghrelin which sends a message to the brain that our stomachs are empty, and also promotes fat storage. Ghrelin tells our brains that we are starving and triggers us to want high calorie foods in order to compensate for the missed meal. Once we eat the high calorie food because we are so hungry, our bodies then hold onto all of the fat and store it. This links into my previous “Healthy Eating” post where I mentioned that you should not allow yourself to get hungry. It leads to bad food choices and has a negative effect in the long run.

The 10 things that you need to know about losing weight are:

– Don’t skip meals.
– Use a smaller plate
– Count calories
– Don’t blame your metabolism
– Protein staves off hunger pangs
– Soups keep you feeling fuller for longer.
– The wider the choice of foods the more you eat.
– Low fat dairy helps you excrete more fat.
– Exercise continues burning fat, even while you sleep.
– Keep moving and lose weight.

If you missed this programme you will be able to view it on BBC iPlayer
It is well worth watching.