SuperTalk Mississippi

Larger Food Labels for a Healthier You

JACKSON, Miss. – Ever gone grocery shopping and looked at the nutrition label on the back and didn’t understand any of it? Or maybe you saw the nutrition label and saw the calorie intake, but thought it wasn’t that bad because you couldn’t find or see the font telling you the amount of servings in that bag.

Michelle Obama wants to change that with her Lets Move! campaign and announced yesterday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed revamping the food labels on the products you buy. The goal is to make food labels easier to read and understand for the everyday shopper.

Hamburg, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and First Lady Michelle Obama presented the new label Feb. 27 at the White House.

“Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family,” Obama said. “So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”

If changes are approved some changes you would see would be:

  • Calorie information will be in larger print, making it easier to read.
  • Food labels will still show the amounts and types of fat in products, but “Calories from Fat” will be removed.
  • Products will now be required to list sugars added to their product. The new labels will show naturally occurring food sugars and added sugars.
  • Serving sizes will be based on how much food a person actually consumes in one sitting, on average. As a result, certain packages of food will now be labeled as a single serving, with the appropriate nutritional information. Dual column labels will indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for larger packages.
  • Vitamins A and C will no longer be required for food labels, but vitamin D and potassium information is now mandatory. Vitamin D plays a vital role in bone health and potassium lowers blood pressure; some American populations are lacking in these nutrients.
  • The FDA will be lowering the daily recommended intake for sodium, and revising the daily recommended values for dietary fiber and Vitamin D as well.

Mississippi has done many projects and passed multiple bills trying to make it a healthier state and lose the reputation of being the most obese state. This could be one more step to a healthier Mississippi.

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