Editor’s note: This story has been edited to reflect the fact that the program was initiated prior to 2021.
(WHNT) — Over the past 18 months, federal authorities have quietly updated the nutrition facts label on packaged foods and drinks. The first such change in 20 years.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the changes are required because of updates in scientific information, new nutrition research, and public input.
“The label’s refreshed design and updated information will make it easier for you to make informed food choices that contribute to lifelong healthy eating habits,” the FDA stated.
According to the agency, food makers with more than $10 million or more in annual sales were required to update their labels last summer. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in sales were given a deadline at the start of July. That means labeled products from major manufacturers to smaller shops should all be updated going forward.
The FDA’s education campaign — “The New Nutrition Facts Label: What’s in it for You?” — seeks to raise awareness about the changes, which include:
- Serving sizes: Serving sizes and servings per container have been updated to reflect the amount people today typically eat and drink. Nutrition information listed in the “Daily Value” section is usually based on one serving of food and is not a recommendation of how much to eat.
- Calories: Calories are now listed in a larger, bolder font. The FDA still recommends approximately 2,000 calories per day as general nutrition advice, but that can change based on such factors as age, gender, height, weight and physical activity level.
- Daily Values: Updates to the daily values section, which shows how much certain nutrients in the food contribute to a daily diet, could make the percent Daily Value (%DV) higher or lower on the new label. The footnote at the bottom of the label has also been expanded for a better explanation of %DV.
- New label additions: The daily values section of the label will now show added sugars, vitamin D, and potassium. Calories from fat along with vitamins A and C will no longer be displayed on the label.
The campaign includes outreach through several platforms, including advertising, social media, videos, and downloadable educational materials.
For more information on the updated label, visit the “What’s New with the Nutrition Facts Label” page on fda.gov.