After 23 years the FDA is making changes to the nutrition facts panel which will apply to all packaged foods over the next two to three years.
Serving sizes have expanded greatly over the years. New rules will require panels to list serving sizes that are typically consumed in one sitting, helping to eliminate the need for consumers to multiply several servings and daily values to understand how much has been consumed. For example one 20-ounce soda will be listed as one serving for the bottle, rather than 2.5 servings in the bottle.
Many Americans do not consume enough potassium or vitamin D, therefore food panels will now include amounts to help consumers better reach the recommended daily amount; 4700mg of potassium and 600 IU vitamin D for most people. Listing vitamin A and vitamin C will no longer be required because Americans typically consume the recommended amounts of these vitamins.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended reducing added sugar intake to less than 100 calories (25g) for women and 150 calories (37g) for men daily. The new nutrition panel requires listing of added sugars as a sub-item under total sugar content. The Daily Value for added sugar will also be updated on the food panel, so as not to exceed 10 percent of total calories, currently based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
The new changes should be easier for consumers to read, and help guide healthier food choices. Manufacturers will need to start using the new food panel by July, 26, 2018; however smaller companies are given an additional year to comply.