Click for St. Louis, Missouri Forecast

// a href = ./ // St Louis News, Weather, Sports, The Big 550 AM, St Louis Traffic, Breaking News in St Louis

Online pharmacy:fesmag.com/tem

Have you a sex problem? Please visit our site:fesmag.com/medic

Site map
 
 
 
Friday, 24 January 2014 04:23

FDA to revise nutrition facts label

WASHINGTON (AP) — Those nutrition labels on the back of food packages may soon become easier to read.
 
The Food and Drug Administration says knowledge about nutrition has evolved over the last 20 years, and the labels need to reflect that.
 
As the agency considers revisions, nutritionists and other health experts have their own wish list of desired changes.
 
The number of calories should be more prominent, they say, and the amount of added sugar and percentage of whole wheat in the food should be included. They also want more clarity on how serving sizes are defined.
 
"There's a feeling that nutrition labels haven't been as effective as they should be," says Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "When you look at the label, there are roughly two dozen numbers of substances that people aren't intuitively familiar with."
 
For example, he says, most of the nutrients are listed in grams, the metric system's basic unit of mass. Jacobson says people don't really understand what a gram is.
 
Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, says 20 years ago "there was a big focus on fat, and fat undifferentiated." Since then, health providers have focused more on calories and warned people away from saturated and trans fats more than all fats. Trans fats were separated out on the label in 2006.
 
The nutrition facts label "is now 20 years old, the food environment has changed and our dietary guidance has changed," says Taylor, who was at the agency in the early 1990s when the FDA first introduced the label at the behest of Congress. "It's important to keep this updated so what is iconic doesn't become a relic."
 
The FDA has sent guidelines for the new labels to the White House, but Taylor would not estimate when they might be released. The FDA has been working on the issue for a decade, he said.
 
There's evidence that more people are reading the labels in recent years.
 
According to an Agriculture Department study released this month, a greater percentage of adults reported using the nutrition facts panel and other claims on food packages "always or most of the time" in 2009 and 2010 compared with two years earlier.
 
The USDA study said 42 percent of working adults used the panel always or most of the time in 2009 and 2010, up from 34 percent. Older adults used it 57 percent of the time during that period, up from 51 percent.
 
One expected change in the label is to make the calorie listing more prominent, and Regina Hildwine of the Grocery Manufacturers Association said that could be useful to consumers. Her group represents the nation's largest food companies.
 
Hildwine said FDA also has suggested that it may be appropriate to remove the "calories from fat" declaration on the label.
 
It's not yet clear what other changes the FDA could decide on. Nutrition advocates are hoping the agency adds a line for sugars and syrups that are not naturally occurring in foods and drinks and are added when they are processed or prepared. Right now, some sugars are listed separately among the ingredients and some are not.
 
It may be difficult for the FDA to figure out how to calculate added sugars, however. Food manufacturers are adding naturally occurring sugars to their products so they can label them as natural — but the nutrition content is no different.
 
Other suggestions from health advocates:
 
— Add the percentage of whole wheat to the label. Many manufacturers will label products "whole wheat" when there is really only a small percentage of it in the food.
 
— Clearer measurements. Jacobson of CSPI and others have suggested that the FDA use teaspoons, as well as grams, for added sugars, since consumers can envision a teaspoon.
 
— Serving sizes that make sense. There's no easy answer, but health experts say that single-size servings that are clearly meant to be eaten in one sitting will often list two or three servings on the label, making the calorie and other nutrient information deceptive. FDA said last year that it may add another column to the labels, listing nutrition information per serving and per container. The agency may also adjust recommended serving sizes for some foods.
 
— Package-front labeling. Beyond the panel on the back, nutrition experts have pushed for labels on the package front for certain nutrients so consumers can see them more easily. The FDA said several years ago it would issue guidelines for front of pack labeling, but later said it would hold off to see whether the industry could create its own labels.
 
Tracy Fox, a Washington-based nutrition consultant, says clearer information is needed to balance the billions of dollars a year that the food industry spends on food marketing.
 
"There's a lot of information there, it's messy," she says. "There may be a way to call out certain things and put them in context."
Published in Health & Fitness
WASHINGTON (AP) — Diners will have to wait a little longer to find calorie counts on most restaurant chain menus, in supermarkets and on vending machines.

The head of the Food and Drug Administration says writing a new menu labeling law "has gotten extremely thorny" as the agency tries to figure out who should be covered by it.

The 2010 health care law charged the FDA with requiring restaurants and other establishments that serve food to put calorie counts on menus and in vending machines. The agency issued a proposed rule in 2011, but the final rules have since been delayed as some non-restaurant establishments have lobbied hard to be exempt.

The FDA has said the rules may come out this spring, but the agency may not meet that deadline.
Published in Health & Fitness

Latest News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Prev Next
Missouri lawmakers take on e-cigarette restrictions

Missouri lawmakers take on e-cigarette restrictions

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House and Senate have each passed bills that would prevent people younger than 18 from purchasing electronic cigarettes.    ...

Man admits to burning dog in 2013

Man admits to burning dog in 2013

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A St. Louis man is headed to prison for burning a dog so badly, that the animal had to be put down.   Wesley Reid appeared in court Thursday ...

Illinois jobless rate at lowest level in five years

Illinois jobless rate at lowest level in five years

CHICAGO (AP) - State officials say unemployment in Illinois dropped in March to 8.4 percent. That's its lowest level since 2009.      The Illinois Departm...

Illinois gives early OK to $100M for Obama museum

CHICAGO (AP) - An Illinois House committee has advanced a plan to devote $100 million in state funds to help bring President Barack Obama's presidential museum and library to Ch...

Steve Stenger Nabs Labor Endorsement

St. Louis, MO --  Councilman Steve Stenger announced Thursday that he has received the St. Louis Labor Council's endorsement in the race for St. Louis County Executive. &nb...

America stands with Kansas City mourners

America stands with Kansas City mourners

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Attorney General Eric Holder says all Americans are standing with the mourners of three people killed at Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas Cit...

Missouri Senate confirms Social Services director

Missouri Senate confirms Social Services director

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has confirmed a longtime employee of the Missouri Department of Social Services to be the agency's new director.   Br...

© 2013 KTRS All Rights Reserved