03/29/14 by Rennie Detore
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently suggested a bevy of changes to the food labels that adorn what what eat in an attempt to highlight the good and bad of what we're ingesting and putting into our bodies.
Those proposed changes would include a more user friendly label that is easier to navigate through and includes the addition of some information and eliminating what the FDA believes is the proverbial elevator music; no one is paying attention anyway, so let's just get rid of it.
A few of the more notable changes are making the font for the total calories much bigger and easier to see. The percentages that make up the likes of total fat, carbohydrates and proteins also is much more discernible as they're listed on the left hand side of the food label. The old version had them on the right side, thus going against the logic that people read from left to right.
Also added are Vitamin D and potassium, both of which are rapidly becoming a concern for the masses as far as being deficient in either one or both. Perhaps the most important addition is "added sugars" to the food labels, so individuals, couples and families alike have a better understanding of total sugars within the food or drink.
Gone from the label is calories from fat; the FDA is telling health conscious consumers to focus on saturated fat more so than calories for fat as the former is much more paramount in deciding what to buy.
These proposed changes have the look and feel of alterations to the labels that are deeply rooted in logic and filled with the best intentions. The FDA and those behind the new food labels aren't oblivious to the obesity epidemic. They are implementing changes they feel will act as a catalyst for consumers to buy accordingly, with health, fitness and diet in mind.
As much as these changes sound rational, the onus still lies with the general public. You can use 100 point font and have a person stationed between them and the potato chip aisles but you can't force the hand of the masses to think more waistline than taste buds.
Do you think making the calorie count bigger might change the landscape of obesity? Maybe a little but it's hard to imagine a complete reversal in the mentality of the men and women that struggle mightily with being overweight and can't break their bad habits.
The FDA may be privately accepting a more realistic outcome, such as if they help a handful of people with these changes, then that's better than it was previously. Altering the food labels is simply the FDA doing its job and truthfully wanting to instill the kind of changes that make a world of difference.
But it probably will end up being more of a first step for the FDA, rather than a giant leap from starting point to exactly where they ultimately want to end up.
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