Obama Administration Proposes New Food Labels That Would Highlight Calories, Sugar


UPDATED: Thursday February 27, 2014 11:29 AM

The Obama administration is proposing new food labels that would make it easier to know about calories and added sugars, a reflection of the shifting science behind nutrition.

Fat was the focus two decades ago when the labels first were created, but nutritionists are now more concerned with how many calories we eat

Under the proposed changes, calories would be in larger, bolder type on food labels, and consumers for the first time would know whether foods have added sugars.

Serving sizes would be updated. They have long been misleading, with many single-serving packages listing multiple servings, so the calorie count is lower.

"Our guiding principle here is very simple, that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf and be able to tell whether it's good for your family," said first lady Michelle Obama, who was to join the Food and Drug Administration in announcing the proposed changes Thursday at the White House.

Mrs. Obama was making the announcement as part of her Let's Move initiative to combat child obesity, which is celebrating its fourth anniversary.

The new nutrition labels are likely several years away. The FDA will take comments on the proposal for 90 days, and a final rule could take another year. Once it's final, the agency has proposed giving industry two years to comply.

The FDA projects food companies will have to pay around $2 billion as they change the labels.

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