The FDA published final rules on new nutrition labels for packaged foods three years ago to reflect new scientific information.
Manufacturers with more than $10 million in sales must switch to this new label by the first of the year.
Many of the changes made to this label are aimed to combat chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease.
Small changes that are making a big effect to a label that is more than 20 years old.
“They took away calories from fat, because the calories from fat don’t really matter in our diet, but they are telling us how many fat grams we are eating,” says Michelle Kudrna, a registered dietitian at Sanford Health.
Aside from making calories a larger font, the FDA is requiring products to include added sugars.
Vitamin A and C are no longer required, but vitamin D and potassium are at the request due to on-going health research.
“Vitamins A and C that use to be on the food label, are now finding that Americans never really have an issue with being deficient in those nutrients,” said Kudrna.
Many of these changes, evolve from an on-going battle with Chronic Diseases in America.
“It’s starting to emerge that Chronic Diseases are coming to the fore-front of what people are facing now. So when it comes to the nutrition label, it’s a very important tool for patients to look at what they’re eating and really just to be more aware of some of the things they’re putting in their bodies that can directly affect their health,” said Kudrna.
But the font sized labels won’t make a difference, unless consumers chose to flip the package and read it.
“We want you to be more aware of what you’re putting in your body. Changing one this is still better than changing anything at all,” said Kudrna.
Many products with the updated label have already hit the shelf, but the expiration date for manufactures to catch up is nearing its end.
Manufacturers who produce less than $10 million in sales will receive an extra year to make the change.
All foods that are imported into the United State must also meet the new requirements.