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Friday, February 28, 2014 - 1:36am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Americans are eating larger portions and now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is redesigning nutrition labels to catch up with the typical American diet, and make the labels easier for shoppers to read and understand.
The nutrition labels you see on food at the grocery store were first created 20 years ago and haven't been updated since.
First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the FDA's new label design at the White House on Wednesday.
"Our guiding principle here is simple - that you as a parents and a consumer should be able to walk into a grocery store, pick an item from the shelf, and tell whether it's good for your family," said Mrs. Obama.
"The kind of foods we are eating are causing a lot of illness and premature deaths among Americans. The food label can help guide us towards healthier foods," said Michael Jacobson from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The new label prints product calories and the number of servings in bigger, bolder type.
There's also a new line on the label showing the amount of sugar added to the product by the manufacturer, and there is no longer a 'Calories from fat' line because the FDA says the type of fat in a food is more important to note than the total amount.
"I don't check the labels. Normally, I really don't. It's pretty much just what we buy ritually. I pretty much stay with the same products so I don't really change it," said Virginia Lopez.
Nonetheless, shoppers like Lopez couldn't help but notice the changes on the new design.
"The calorie intake right here. That's the first thing that pops out," said Lupe Alvarado.
The new FDA label also updates serving sizes since Americans eat more than what's listed.
For example, a single serving size of ice cream is currently 1/2 cup, but the FDA has determined Americans typically eat a full cup, so that would be the new single serving size.
The FDA's new label design will be open to public comment for 90 days. For more information, visit http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm387114.htm