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One serving or two? Nutrition labels to get their first major overhaul in two decades

The FDA proposed changes to nutrition labels on packed foods. Here is an example of what could change.
The FDA proposed changes to nutrition labels on packed foods. Here is an example of what could change.

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The nutritional information on the back of packaged foods is about to undergo a major overhaul to bring it more in line with the way Americans actually eat. The proposals, unveiled this morning by Michelle Obama at the White House, are designed to help parents and other consumers make healthier food choices.

The changes include bigger, bolder calorie counts at the top of the label; more realistic portion sizes and grams of added sugars, whether they come from corn syrup, honey etc, will be shown in one number.

Advocates for better food labeling have long argued that serving sizes are unrealistically small (who shares a bag of M&Ms, really?) and gives people a false sense of how many calories they're actually consuming.

Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that an increasing number of Americans are relying on nutrition labels when picking food at the grocery store.  

RELATED: First look: The FDA's nutrition label gets a makeover  

About 42 percent of working-age adults and 57 percent of older adults now say they consider the FDA's nutrition label when they're shopping. Even more say they would use the information if it were provided at restaurants.

If approved, will the new labels help people make better food choices? How would you like to see the new labels redesigned? Do you pay attention to nutritional labels when shopping?


Andrea Giancoli, registered dietician with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Kathleen Keller, Phd, Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences and Food Science at Penn State University