FDA Updates Nutrition Labels: What You Need to Know

By: Mark Lange, PhD

If you’ve been keeping a close eye on your food’s nutrition labels, you might notice that things aren’t looking the same as they usually do! You can thank the recent changes from the FDA for that. Recently, the FDA unveiled an education campaign to promote Nutrition Facts panels with a brand new look!

You may have already noticed early implementation of the new panels on some food products, but the Nutrition Facts panels will come into full effect within the next two years.  The goal of the campaign is to provide consumers with more details on food products to prevent death and disease through better nutritional food choices! How great is that?

What’s Changing:


The most noticeable update will be a declaration of added sugars! The label update will increase consumer awareness of the quantity of added sugars in foods which will allow you to make more informed, healthier choices. On average, Americans get about 13 percent of their total calories from added sugars. The major sources include:

  • Soft drinks
  • Packaged snacks
  • Desserts
  • Sweets (i.e. candy)

While the occasional sugary treat is perfectly okay, when sugar is consumed in excess it can affect the nutrition of your overall diet. It becomes more difficult to also eat foods with enough dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals and stay within calorie limits.


Another noticeable change headed for nutrition labels are regarding the product’s serving sizes.  What is considered a single serving has changed in the decades since the original nutrition label was created.  Think of how many products are marketed as single-serving or on-the-go meals that lead you to believe that they contain one serving when they really contain two, sometimes three!

This makes it easy to overdo it, especially if you’re grabbing food on-the-go. Now, serving sizes will be more realistic to reflect how much people typically eat at one time!


What do you think about the changes in nutrition labels?
Tell us in the comments below!