Major Updates to Nutrition Facts Label Announced

How often do you look at the Nutrition Facts label listed on the back of the box of cereal you pick up at the grocery store? And when you do read it, what specific information are you looking for?

That’s what the FDA has spent more than a decade researching, and today the agency released a proposal with two new designs for what the new Nutrition Facts label could look like. The goal is to make the label easier for consumers to understand. If made final, the new Nutrition Facts label will now showcase calories more prominently on the label, not include calories from fat information, differentiate between natural and added sugars, include a reduced recommended daily value of sodium and change the way in which the nutrition information is presented for some single-serve products so consumers can more easily understand the total number of calories in their food.

The current Nutrition Facts label pictured next to the newly proposed label.

The current Nutrition Facts label pictured next to the newly proposed label.

This is the first major update to the Nutrition Facts label since it was first required to appear on all packaged foods, beverages and supplements in 1993. Nutrition science has evolved significantly in the last couple of decades and new research has increased our knowledge about what nutrients are important for health. We now know that up to one-third of all cancer deaths are due to nutrition and physical activity factors, including overweight and obesity. That’s why ACS CAN advocated strongly for these updates to the Nutrition Facts label so consumers, cancer patients and survivors could make more informed choices for their health and the health of their families.

This proposal to update the Nutrition Facts label would complement other nutrition labeling strategies, including the menu and vending machine calorie labeling requirements in the Affordable Care Act (the rules for which have not been finalized) and other proposals to provide key nutrition information on the front of the pack.

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