05/20/2016 - Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized a rule to update the Nutritional Facts Panel (NFP) found on packaged food. The new Nutrition Facts label features updated information to help consumers make informed food choices given the significant link between diet and chronic disease:
- Detail about the amount and percent daily value of Added Sugars in the product.
- Updated serving size requirements, which "Require that packaged foods, including drinks, that are typically eaten in one sitting be labeled as a single serving and that calorie and nutrient information be declared for the entire package."
- Updated footnote explaining "percent daily value."
- The amount of potassium and Vitamin D in a food product and the absolute amounts of all nutrients of concern.
- Bolder, more prominently displayed calorie counts and serving sizes "to emphasize parts of the label that are important in addressing current public health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease."
These changes to the label were officially proposed in the Federal Register on March 3, 2014. Today's finalized NFP updates are the most significant changes to the label in 20 years.
In the years preceding today's final ruling, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics took action so it could provide valuable input to the FDA about the Nutrition Facts label. Some of the actions taken by the Academy included:
- Forming the Food and Nutrition Labeling Workgroup (FNLW) in early 2014 comprised of member experts appointed by various DPGs. The FNLW was tasked with assisting the Academy as it developed stances and principles on various labeling issues in anticipation of submitting comments on regulations to position the Academy as a continuing leader on these issues.
- Meeting with FDA officials on April 1, 2014 to provide insight and input in the development of regulations revising the NFP. This meeting included FNLW members, Academy staff and Academy President Evelyn Crayton.
- Having the FNLW present at national forums and public meetings for nutrition education stakeholders and experts, per the FDA's request. In addition, the Academy had regular meetings industry and public health partners to discuss proposed changes to the label.
- Submitting comments to the FDA about the proposed changes. The first comments were submitted in August 2014; additional comments submitted in October 2015.
- Hosting a well-attended FNCE 2014 session entitled "Back to the Future of the Nutrition Facts Label" examining proposed changes to the NFP.
Future Involvement with Nutrition Labeling
While the Academy supports the FDA's changes to the NFP, it will continue to advocate for better consumer education to help people have a more complete understanding of nutrition label information. The Academy’s FNLW will remain intact and examine ways to advance consumer comprehension of the NFP.
Additional Nutrition Facts Panel Information
- FDA’s complete explanation of NFP updates
- White House press release in support of "modernized Nutrition Facts label"
- FDA's "At a Glance" fact sheet about NFP updates
- Infographic from the FDA illustrating changes to Nutrition Facts label
- Slides from the FDA's presentation about changes to the Nutrition Facts label