Final rules for updating the Nutrition Facts panel and serving sizes have been submitted by the FDA to the Office of Management and Budget for regulatory impact analysis.
According to an FDA spokeswoman, the FDA has yet to determine a release date for the final rules, but in MJR’s experience, this means that final approval is imminent, likely within 90-180 days.
The proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts panel on foods and beverages will affect nearly all packaged goods found in the United States. If adopted, the changes would include a greater understanding of nutrition science, updated serving size requirements and new labeling requirements for certain package sizes.
In the 20 years since the Nutrition Facts labels were first put on the back of nearly every food and beverage in stores, interest in reading the label has steadily declined, according to The NPD Group. NPD asks consumers their level of agreement with the statement, “I frequently check labels to determine whether the foods I buy contain anything I’m trying to avoid.”
Following the passage of the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act in 1990, 65 percent of consumers completely or mostly agreed with the statement. That percentage decreased to 60 just before Nutrition Labels appeared on packaging, and rose to 64 percent in 1995 once labels were present.
Since then, interest has declined to a low of 48 percent in 2013.
NPD also tracks what consumers usually look for when they do read the label. In consecutive order, these items are: calories, sugar, sodium, fat and carbohydrates.
With changes like the declaration of added sugars, the label may promote the reformulation of existing products and creation of new products by food companies in order to boast a healthier nutrition profile.
Mackenzie Mennucci, Content Specialist & Social Community Manager