Squinting and calculating at food labels may soon be a thing of the past. The Food and Drug Administration recently rolled out a more user-friendly design for the nation’s food packages. The new look displays calories in a large, bold type. Serving sizes have been updated to match the way most people eat. In addition, the labels will make it easier for those who want to limit sugar in their diet.

Food label redesign

Can Labels Make a Difference in Diet?

It’s been said that information is power. Most of us have the knowledge to make healthier eating choices. However, it can be easy to miscalculate calories. If you assume a single package contains one serving when in fact it holds two, you may inadvertently your double calorie consumption from time to time. The new labels will makes these kinds of mistakes easier to avoid.

Find Your Sweet Spot

The new labels change the way sugars are calculated. Total sugars will be listed along with a separate number for added sugars. Eating excess calories from sugar contributes to obesity and diabetes. Sugar is added to all sorts of foods, from condiments to crackers and other packaged items. Even people who don’t have a sweet tooth tend to eat more sugar than is recommended. Sugar has multiple aliases, making it difficult to scan for it. With a separate listing for added sugar, consumers won’t need a magnifying glass to figure out how much of the sweet stuff has been added to a certain food.

Your Calories Are Served

Serving sizes have increased in the last several decades but current labels don’t reflect that. The new labels will more accurately mesh with American’s eating habits. For instance, while 12 ounces is the usual size of a can of soda, serving size is sometimes listed as 8 ounces. The new rules will make 12 ounces the standard. Any package that is likely to be consumed in one sitting, such as a can of soup, will be calculated as one serving. That means, when you glance at the calories on the new labels, you’ll see a more accurate assessment of the nutrients it contains.

The push for easier to understand food labels is part of the Let’s Move Campaign started by First Lady Michelle Obama. While it’s up to consumers to take responsibility for eating habits, many believe easier-to-understand labels will help people make more informed decisions. You can see the new labels and learn about other changes by visiting the FDA’s website.

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