Michelle Obama and FDA release nutrition label changes

Obama and FDA Team Up for Nutrition Label Makeover

Obama and FDA Team Up for Nutrition Label Makeover

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Feb. 27 2014 1:23 PM

Nutrition Label Calorie Counts Are About to Get Bigger and Bolder

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama announces proposed changes to food labels during an event in the East Room of the White House February 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. The proposed changes would highlight the calorie count of all foods, detail added sugars, and prove easier to understand the basic nutritional value of packaged foods.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Michelle Obama and the Food and Drug Administration are working together to roll out the first changes to nutrition labels in more than 20 years. The proposed changes, announced at the White House today, are part of the first lady's "Let’s Move" campaign, which is celebrating its fourth anniversary. One of the topline goals of the makeover is to focus the consumer's attention on the number of calories a food has, rather than the amount of fat, which was the original focus when the labels were created two decades ago.

Here’s USA Today with the bullet points on the "new and improved, more user-friendly" proposed changes:

  • Calorie counts will be in bigger, bolder print than other facts.
  • Grams of added sugars, whether they come from corn syrup, honey, sucrose or any other source, will be shown in one number.
  • Serving sizes will reflect portions people typically eat, as shown by studies — meaning they will be bigger than serving sizes are now on many products.
  • "Calories from fat" will be gone, while total fat, saturated and trans fats remain, reflecting science showing the type of fat people eat is more important than the amount.
  • Labels will list vitamin D and potassium instead of vitamins A and C, reflecting shifting concerns about common deficiencies in American diets.
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The FDA will be open to comments on the new labels during the next 90 days so they can test how people respond to the changes. After that, they will give manufacturers about two years to instate the new labels, according to the Associated Press.