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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
We have had the same nutrition facts food label for more than 20 years. The nutrition
facts label helps us better understand what nutrition we are and are not getting in
the food product. The new label is easier to read and will help you make better informed
food choices. In return, it will help you take better control of your health and take
steps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and obesity.
A new food label was introduced that will start appearing on food products, although
it won’t be immediate. Most food manufactures have until July 2018 to implement the
new label on their products. So don’t expect to see it in stores immediately.
The new Nutrition Facts label is different in numerous ways. It will include an updated
design to highlight “calories” and “servings.” Serving sizes are now being labeled
in common household measures. For example, the reference amount for ice cream increased
from one-half cup to two-thirds cup, and soda increased from 8 to 12 oz. Package sizes
between one and two servings that people typically eat in one sitting, such as a 15-oz
can of soup, now will be labeled as one serving.
Added sugar will now be on the label with percent Daily Value, (%DV) for added sugar
on the Nutrition Facts Panel. The addition of added sugars on the label should assist
consumers in making informed choices. The total sugars that you will see listed on
the label reflects just that, the total sugars in the product, both naturally occurring
and added sugars.
Vitamin D and potassium are replacing vitamins A and C as nutrients of public health
significance and will now be mandatory on all labels. Vitamins A and C are no longer
mandatory but you may still see them on the label. Potassium is really an undervalued
nutrient beneficial in helping reduce the risk of chronic disease. The addition of
potassium to the food label will help consumers know how much of this important mineral
is in foods, and help identify foods higher in potassium.
While calcium and iron will still be required on Nutrition Facts labels, the nutrients
of public health significance will be labeled in the following order: vitamin D, calcium,
iron, and potassium, along with the actual gram amount and % DV, daily value. When
any other voluntary vitamin and mineral is declared, it also must be labeled in actual
amounts along with the % DV, instead of the current labeling of only the % DV.
You will no longer see the words, “calories from fat”; instead you will see the larger
bold word “Calories”. Calories from fat will be removed because research shows the
type of fat is more important than the amount. You will continue to see the words,
“total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat.”
The footnote at the new label will better explain what % Daily Value (DV) means. It
will state: “The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food
contributes to a daily diet.” 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Whereas the old label gave information as it related to a 2,000 and 2,500 calorie
As you start seeing the new nutrition facts foods labels on products, notice how much
easier they are to read and hopefully how they improve your awareness of how much
and what you are consuming. Hopefully you will check out the new nutrition label to
help you make better food choices.
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or
visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at email@example.com,
on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaHaleyHadley, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or
on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
By Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.