Nutrition food labels could be changing
By Sonya Stevenssstevens@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- How much do you pay attention to the nutrition facts on your food before you buy it? Well those food labels may be getting a new look.
The Obama Administration has proposed that these labels include more information and be more practical.
"I think its great that the nutrition facts label is getting a facelift," said Debbie Petitpain, Sodexo dietician at the Medical University of South Carolina. "It's long overdue. Consumers go to the nutrition facts label to get information but once they are looking at it they are easily confused."
But the new labels would be much easier to follow.
The calories per serving and amount of servings per container would be larger and bolder. Another change is that the serving sizes will be larger.
"The serving sizes are going to be more realistic to what people are actually consuming and they still need to do the math. So if a portion size is a cup but they are eating two, they still need to double all the information that is on the label," said Petitpain.
Making that information easier to understand will help people understand what they are putting in their bodies, and it will benefit more than those who are diets.
"We have lots of people with diabetes and they need to better understand carbohydrates and the difference between healthy carbohydrates and carbohydrates that is coming from added sugar so pulling the added sugar out is another proposed change that is going to make it easier to avoid stuff that is full of junk," said Petitpain.
But Petitpain says the bottom line is that people just need to be more aware of what they are eating even if they don't count the calories.
"Calorie counting is hard. Most people don't do it day in and day out," said Petitpain. "They go shopping for food; they don't go shopping for calories, and the healthiest foods that we want to eat like fruits and vegetables don't come with a label."
These new labels are still probably several years away. It's just a proposal right now and the FDA will take comments for 90 days and then a final rule could take another year.
Then the FDA will probably have to give the food industry a couple of years to get those labels changed.