Why It Matters
We all read these food labels, but we’re not always sure what they mean.
THIS IS CONFUSING
THE CURRENT SITUATION
We all read these food labels, but we’re not always sure what they mean. Is 20 grams of sugar too much? How much is a gram of sugar anyway? How many grams of fat fit in a teaspoon? Should I care about folic acid more than riboflavin? Saturated fat more than cholesterol?
We are confused about what and how to eat and so we’re eating too much of the wrong things. In fact, we’re eating too much of everything. Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. The obesity rate among preschoolers has doubled since 1970. Type 2 diabetes has become an epidemic. We want to make it easier to choose healthy food.
Last year at the Grocery Manufacturers Association conference Michelle Obama said, “We need clear, consistent, front-of-the-package, labels that give people the information they’ve been asking for, in a format they understand.”
Here’s how the Food and Drug Administration explains the existing nutrition facts label, which was created in 1990 by the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act.
Read the Institute of Medicine’s Phase I report on front-of-packaging labels and see what the Grocery Manufacturers Association proposed earlier this year.