The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a long-awaited rule to update the Nutrition Facts Label on all packaged foods, giving companies two years to comply with the new regulation.
For the first time, the label will let consumers know how many grams of sugar have been added to the product and a percent daily value. The Academy supported the update based on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommendation that Americans should get no more than 10% of their calories from added sugars.
In addition, the new label will show the calorie count in a larger, bolder font and will update the serving sizes to better reflect the amount of the product that individuals actually consume. Labeling amounts of vitamin A and C will be voluntary since deficiencies of these vitamins are rare, but inclusion of vitamin D and potassium will be mandatory.
Nearly two weeks after the Nutrition Facts Label update, the FDA issued draft guidance to establish voluntary targets for industry aimed at helping Americans gradually reduce their sodium intake. The Academy supported the action as a first step toward improving the American diet. Foods high in sodium, which are common in children’s diets, can contribute to higher blood pressure, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
The first two-year target aims to reduce the average sodium intake levels from approximately 3,400 milligrams (mg) to about 3,000 mg per day. The second 10-year target would reduce sodium levels to 2,300 mg per day. These timelines will be set to begin once the draft guidance is finalized and will apply to some common baby and toddler foods in addition to processed foods and foods served in restaurants. A downloadable spreadsheet with all foods included in the draft guidance can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1P8ukQi.