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Friday, February 19, 2016

Wall Street Journal: Better Food Labeling

When it comes to grocery shopping many people just dread it and only do so because it's necessary to pick up groceries at the store to feed their families. Additionally, for many, perhaps nutrition is not all that important or it's misunderstood. After all, who wants to know that a food that they love contains 15 grams of saturated fat or that there are 230 calories in a serving or what the heck does 4 grams of protein mean to them? You get the picture, reading a food label can simply be confusing and a pain to read correctly.

Now it seems that the FDA (US Food & Drug Administration) is attempting to change labels in grocery stores for better comprehension and just a better more useful tool for consumers to follow before purchasing a food item. In letting consumers know which foods are more nutritious for them, a learning curve becomes established for smarter food shopping. 

Some of the proposed revisions to the current food label would include a new redesign of calorie information that is more visible as well as a change in serving size to reflect portion size and how it has changed over the years. The goal here is to show consumers the changes in portion size and nutritional values over the years -- particularly now that we are suffering from an obesity crisis. Did you know that twenty years ago a simple cheeseburger used to be about 333 calories for one portion? Now-a-days, a cheese burger weighs in at a whopping 530 calories for the same portion size -- one! This same distorted portion size goes for other favorite foods that people like to eat such as bagels, french fries and soda!

Lastly, these proposed food label changes would include a NuVal Nutritional Scoring System (designed by medical and nutrition experts) that grades food based on a scale of 1 to 100. In addition, read the article to learn about the traffic light rating system and the Guiding Stars Nutrition labels developed in 2006. This could be the start of a great and healthy relationship with food for consumers everywhere!

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