Will redesigned nutrition labels improve our health?

Adam Serpa, News Editor

For the first time in 20 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that changes will be made to nutrition labels. There will be some major changes that are bound to improve our knowledge of what we are consuming, therefore, improving our health. These major changes include adjusting portion sizes and emphasizing added sugars.

Let’s be realistic: very few settle for a half-cup of their favorite ice cream or stop after eleven nacho cheese flavored Doritos! We are cursed with several bad eating habits. The new nutrition labels will provide nutritional facts for more realistic serving sizes. I know that when I buy a twenty fluid ounce bottle of Mountain Dew, I’m not going to measure out a single serving of eight fluid ounces- I’m going to drink the whole bottle. By increasing the serving size to a more realistic value, consumers will be able to easily see how much they are really consuming and make a better decision on how much they should eat or drink.

Energy drinks, which have become a necessity for many individuals, and other sweetened beverages account for more than double the recommended amount of added sugars. Several products naturally contain sugar, such as milk sugar, but the added sugars companies put in their products are what put us in danger of Heart Disease and Diabetes. We need to know how much added sugars go into our food if we are ever going to reduce our intake. The addition of added sugars information on the new labels will increase our awareness of how much we take in.

In addition to these major changes, the labels will now be easier to read and comprehend with larger fonts and simpler dietary value facts. Also, Potassium and Vitamin D amounts will be added to the label, since the U.S. population does not receive enough of these nutrients. While some may believe this change to be useless, I believe it is a step in the right direction toward the overall wellness of individuals.