Labels on Your Food Could Change


Changing labels on the foods you buy is a top priority for the Food and Drug Administration this year, but it's not yet known when those changes could happen or what they will be.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has given the FDA a wish list.

It includes a focus on calories, a line for added sugar that's separate from the natural kind and making serving sizes easier to calculate and understand.

Megan Williams didn't pay too much attention to labels before getting into the health field. Now she has her nutrition label go tos.

"Sodium content is a huge thing," said the Central District Health Department health educator.

Sodium is one of the lines nutritionist Quinn Lewandowski points to when he's talking to clients at the CDHD.

"Look at the calories, protein, fiber, even some of the carbohydrates and added sugar," he said.

Lewandowski said most people don't, but that's changing.

"About 43 percent of adults actually look at the nutrition label when they buy things and that's actually up about 30-some percent the previous two years before," he said.

Lewandowski said that can only continue with FDA proposed changes to labels.

"Making the calories a little more prevalent, bolding those and making them very easy, and also kind of simplifying it. A lot of times they list stuff in grams and now they're talking about putting stuff in teaspoons," he said.

Williams says the simpler, the better.

"I always talk to my mom about nutrition labels and she's always like, ‘I don't know what these words mean.' So, I think simplifying it would make it a lot easier for people who don't do this on a daily basis," she said.

"It'll help you think twice when you're reaching for that gallon of ice cream or those cookies," said Lewandowski.

Studies show people who read food labels eat healthier.

More than a third of all Americans are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.