Nutrition facts label receives update
One month into the new year, many people may be ready to give up on their resolutions to improve their eating habits for better health. However, the newly updated Nutrition Facts label can help you change your habits and keep your resolution, says Jody Gatewood, nutrition state specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
“For the first time in 20 years, the Nutrition Facts label, found on packaged foods, has been significantly updated to make it easier to understand. The new features will help consumers make informed choices about the foods they eat,” Gatewood said.
The new label began appearing on all food packages Jan. 1, 2021, Gatewood said. The changes to the food label include the following:
- The serving size is in a large, bold font and serving sizes have been updated to better reflect what people actually eat.
- Calories are now shown in a larger, bolder font to better display this information.
- Added sugars are included under total sugars to help consumers understand how much sugar has been added to the product. Some foods naturally contain sugar, like fruits and dairy. The new label helps you see how much sugar is naturally present and how much is added. Consuming too much added sugar can make it hard to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie recommendations.
- Potassium and Vitamin D are now required on the label because people need to consume more of these nutrients. Vitamins A and C are no longer required on the label, since deficiencies of these vitamins are rare today. Calcium and iron are still required on the label.
“Use the Nutrition Facts label to help you make food choices that support your health needs,” Gatewood said.