Food Labels To Carry More Info

The FDA won't be deterred from requring that food producers tell consumers more about what they are eating.

Succinct, easy-to-read nutritional information for packaged foods is coming to a store near you. Nearly a decade in the works, guidelines for information on the front label of food packages is expected from the Food & Drug Administration sometime next year. Pressure has been building to provide consumers with more nutritional information on labels. The hope is that it will help them to make healthier food choices and combat the growing problems of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The Institute of Medicine recently released a report on front-of-package labeling to advise the FDA. The report focused on four areas which are associated with diet-related health problems: calories, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. According to the IOM, it’s not crucial to include fiber, added sugars or vitamins because information about those nutrients can be found on the back of the label. A second IOM report coming out soon will focus on how to make the nutritional info most useful to consumers.

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Martha Lynn Craver
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter