FDA: Labels 'Must Be Based on What People Actually Eat'

The FDA has proposed a few major updates to Nutrition Facts labels that should better reflect the American diet

From left to right, above: the proposed Nutrition Facts format and the current format

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a major update to the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods, including a format change that will better highlight important information such as calorie count and updated serving sizes. The labels will also include research on the link between diet and chronic diseases.

Most notably, the new labels will include more accurate portion sizes that reflect how much Americans really eat. Current serving suggestions are based research collected before the 1990s, when the FDA first began requiring nutrition labels on processed food.

The FDA proposal, which will be subject to public comment for the next 90 days, comes just days after First Lady Michelle Obama proposed a ban on junk food marketing in schools, and is part of a continuing push toward transparency across the food industry.


"Things like the size of a muffin have changed so dramatically," said Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA. "It is important that the information on the nutrition fact labels reflect the realities in the world today."