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FLOTUS goes big on food label changes

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FLOTUS goes big on food label changes

 

The Obama administration has unveiled the most sweeping update to nutrition labeling on food packages in more than two decades ? and Americans are in for a reality check about how many calories and how much sugar they are consuming.

 

What?s considered a serving size would get larger, the type used to display calories would get bolder and added sugars would have to be listed on about 700,000 consumer products ? from cereal to energy drinks ? in a proposal released Thursday morning by the Food and Drug Administration.

 
Current
nutrition_label_current.jpg
Proposed
nutrition_label_proposed.jpg

First lady Michelle Obama ? whose staff was key in getting the proposal out of FDA, where the labeling revamp has been in the works for 10 years ? discussed the changes at a Let?s Move! anniversary event at the White House with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

 
 
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Personally I would prefer to see a carb count in large numbers instead of the calorie count. When I eat I don't give a crap of how many calories things have.

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My problem is that in many cases to make the current label fit on a small package the print has to be nearly microscopic. This will just make it worse.

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Looking at that, compared to UK and EU labels, it looks stupidly simple. :P

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9/10 won't read -- or care.

 

I look for sodium, 'partially hydrogenated', 'pork', and sometimes the minerals.

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Looking at that, compared to UK and EU labels, it looks stupidly simple. :p

 

 

I suppose they are making it simple to encourage people to take notice. If there is anything too complicated or vague people will ignore it and it will negate the whole purpose of the labelling.

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You mean people don't really eat 3/4 of a cup of yogurt, half of a candy bar or 11 potato chips at a time? It's about time they do something about that. Right now the food industry sets the serving sizes to whatever makes their product sound healthier, no matter how ridiculous and unrealistic that serving size is.

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As long as they keep them in one language (english) I won't care.  I've seen some multilingual labels and they have horrendously small type and messy as hell as a result.  And lets be honest, even if you don't speak english you should be able to infer what it is telling you given that most of the words are close enough to what it is in other languages. (ex. calories vs calor?as).

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I suppose they are making it simple to encourage people to take notice. If there is anything too complicated or vague people will ignore it and it will negate the whole purpose of the labelling.

 

This is more of a rear pack label, so when you flip over the product to see the label, this is what you see. In the UK we have the traffic light system which simplifies this somewhat.

 

_63685888_food_labels_464.gif

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This is more of a rear pack label, so when you flip over the product to see the label, this is what you see. In the UK we have the traffic light system which simplifies this somewhat.

 

_63685888_food_labels_464.gif

 

 

We (Australia) were going to get a traffic light system but the food lobby put an end to that. Now I think there is a voluntary star system, much like you see on whitegoods to indicate how energy efficient they are.

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Personally I would prefer to see a carb count in large numbers instead of the calorie count. When I eat I don't give a crap of how many calories things have.

 

 

Um, excess calories are what make you gain weight, not carbs. Too many calories and you get fat, it doesn't matter where those calories come from.

 

That whole low carb diet fad is nonsense. Burn more calories than you take in each day and you lose weight, there's nothing more to it than that.

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I'm so sick of hearing about this change already..... heck I RARELY see anyone reading the labels at the grocery store... I know I don't care enough to do it... I haven't gained weight in 20 yrs... the only time I ever see someone caring is when it's one of those overly caring types that has to check everything listed first then run off to whole foods complaining about how bad that is for you.....

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Um, excess calories are what make you gain weight, not carbs. Too many calories and you get fat, it doesn't matter where those calories come from.

 

That whole low carb diet fad is nonsense. Burn more calories than you take in each day and you lose weight, there's nothing more to it than that.

 

My body would disagree with you on that one. I don't go out of my way to eat carbs and maintain a very low carb diet. I eat whatever I want regardless of calories it's the carbs I watch out for. In doing so my weight has stayed at 167.6 for 1 year.

 

In going low carb regardless of calories I went from 182 down to 162, now i have gone lower carb instead of low carb and have stabilized at 167 for 1 year.

 

Example since going low carb I have probably eaten 15 bags of sun flower seeds (not shelled), very high calorie, but very low carb (35 carbs per bag), I eat them as a snack every single day.

I also eat peperoni by the 1lb sticks, high calorie, low carb.

 

I also don't exorcize as much as I use to. I mean sure i'll go walking 3.5 miles every now and then but not as much as I use to. For my job I sit alot. So with all that I still have kept my weight the same for 1 year by paying more attention to carbs than calories.

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Um, excess calories are what make you gain weight, not carbs. Too many calories and you get fat, it doesn't matter where those calories come from.

 

That whole low carb diet fad is nonsense. Burn more calories than you take in each day and you lose weight, there's nothing more to it than that.

A calorie is a unit of heat Energy.

 

Cardboard has 'calories', so does sunlight.

 

Neither will make you 'fat'.

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A calorie is a unit of heat Energy.

 

Cardboard has 'calories', so does sunlight.

 

Neither will make you 'fat'.

 

A calorie is a unit of energy, not "heat energy". We can't digest cardboard so obviously you can't get fat on it. A small calorie, the type used by nutritionists because there are different types of calories, is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius.

 

It's like describing horsepower, it doesn't necessarily mean your car is powered by horses. When used in terms of food a calorie is used to describe "the total amount of food energy (e.g., in a meal) and for the specific energy, namely amount of energy per unit of mass (e.g. "calories per gram", "calories per serving"). Nutritional requirements or intakes are often expressed in calories per day."

 

In any case excess caloric intake does make you gain weight since the body stores excess energy as fat; to try and say otherwise is absurd. It is true though that some types of food do actually use more energy to process by our bodies so I wasn't entirely accurate in saying a calorie is a calorie, but overall calories are still one of the most important things on a food label when it comes to managing your weight. It won't make much difference anyway though, as with smoking most people just don't care if something is healthy or not. They'll continue to binge on soda and fast food no matter what the labels say unfortunately.

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In any case excess caloric intake does make you gain weight since the body stores excess energy as fat; to try and say otherwise is absurd. It is true though that some types of food do actually use more energy to process by our bodies so I wasn't entirely accurate in saying a calorie is a calorie, but overall calories are still one of the most important things on a food label when it comes to managing your weight. It won't make much difference anyway though, as with smoking most people just don't care if something is healthy or not. They'll continue to binge on soda and fast food no matter what the labels say unfortunately.

 

QFT. Except for the last bit about soda and fast food: soda doesn't have to be high in calories (diet soda is sugar free) and fast food can easily be managed to be low in calories (salad over fries, diet soda, double up on the meat rather than getting two separate burgers, etc).

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I don't understand why the US system includes the quantities of vitamins and minerals, as such information is irrelevant and serves only to distract from the more important values. It's also no good having the information if people don't understand it or won't pay attention to it, which is why simplified systems like the traffic-light scheme are so effective (when used in conjunction with more detailed information on the back). These changes are at best a modest improvement and don't go anywhere near far enough.

 

PS - Does anyone else find the idea of a portion size being "2/3 cup" strange?

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All I keep thinking is 'Ten years...for that?'

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All I keep thinking is 'Ten years...for that?'

Actually, the article said it's the biggest shake-up in more than two decades.

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Actually, the article said it's the biggest shake-up in more than two decades.

I'm just saying you'd think in ten years they could do more than change some text sizes heh

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I'm just saying you'd think in ten years they could do more than change some text sizes heh

 

They are doing a bit more than just that though. They are proposing that serving sizes listed on packages be increased to be more in line with what a person will realistically consume. For example a 20 ounce bottle of soda would now be listed as one serving, instead of something silly like two and a half. They would also now be required to list both a per serving and per package size, and also list exactly how much added sugar each product contains. Also the recommended daily values are being tweaked, such as reducing the amount of sodium. These are still just proposals so there will probably be more changes in the end.

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Only thing this will do is appease the food nazis, no one else cares, and like said already, no one really reads the labels 

 

Michelle's futile campaign to change dietary habits has been that futile, and a big waste of time and resources

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PS - Does anyone else find the idea of a portion size being "2/3 cup" strange?

You'd be surprised what food manufactures class as a serving even here in the UK. They do it to try and sound healthier. As for showing vitamins etc? I know people who do care about that kind of information.

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You'd be surprised what food manufactures class as a serving even here in the UK. They do it to try and sound healthier. As for showing vitamins etc? I know people who do care about that kind of information.

Yeah I care about the vitamin info but they need to be realistic in the serving size. 

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I think it's a good change.

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You'd be surprised what food manufactures class as a serving even here in the UK. They do it to try and sound healthier. As for showing vitamins etc? I know people who do care about that kind of information.

Great example is a bottle of coke, it's classed as 2 servings... Erm, what? Just no.

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