Wednesday, January 23 2013, 05:55 PM MST
Nurtritional Labels May Receive Upgrade
(KUTV) The nutritional labels we see on food packages may be due for an upgrade.
The governments latest research shows consumers are misreading the labels, and may be consuming a lot more calories than they think. The government hopes to change that.
Jennifer Beall is a college student living on her own for the first time. When she buys something at the supermarket she always reads the nutrition label.
When I was in middle school in my consumer ed class they taught us how to read it, Jennifer Beall said.
But the Food and Drug Administration thinks the labels need an update. The agency surveyed thousands of consumers who said they find some of the information confusing - particularly when it comes to how many calories are inside
And it can be easy to eat more than you intended. Like one muffin label says 110 calories per serving - but a serving size is half a muffin.
Beall says some of the labels don't make sense. I got pickles and it said a fourth of a pickle was the serving size.
The FDA has some proposals to simplify things, for example, calculating the nutrition in snack-sized bags as just one big serving. Or using a dual column system: one column with calories per serving and the other for the total package.
The FDA is also considering a larger font size for numbers that show calories, and removing the "calories from fat" section, which is difficult for consumers to understand.
Registered dietician at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Melanie Desapri, said, I agree with that. I think they get very confused by the percent calories from fat, so I think just the total calories would be beneficial for them.
The next step is to get input from the public, and try the changes in stores.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)