Those nutrition labels on the back of food packages may soon become easier to read.
The Food and Drug Administration says knowledge about nutrition has evolved over the last 20 years, and the labels need to reflect that.
As the agency considers revisions, nutritionists and other health experts have their own wish list of desired changes.
The number of calories should be more prominent, they say, and the amount of added sugar and percentage of whole wheat in the food should be included. They also want more clarity on how serving sizes are defined.
“There’s a feeling that nutrition labels haven’t been as effective as they should be,” says Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “When you look at the label, there are roughly two dozen numbers of substances that people aren’t intuitively familiar with.”
For example, he says, most of the nutrients are listed in grams, the metric system’s basic unit of mass. Jacobson says people don’t really understand what a gram is.