FDA Nutrition Labels Get Major Overhaul

20/May/16 / 17:15
Labels reflect new nutrition science, receive first major update in 20 years


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced new nutrition label standards that will take effect for most major food producers in July of 2018. The revised labels have several important changes that will help consumers better understand the nutrition content of their food and present more realistic serving sizes. This is the first major update to the nutrition labels since they were introduced 20 years ago.


In its announcement of the new labels, the FDA stated the labels were designed for clarity and reflect updated science and research that has changed the makeup of important facts included in the labels. It will be easier for consumers to understand the health impacts of their food choices, especially in the areas of serving size and in the amount of added sugars consumed each day.

Nutrition Labels old vs. new

Current label is on the left, revised label on the right. Click on image for larger view.


Some significant changes:

New label highlights. Click on image for larger view.

New label highlights. Click on image for larger view.

  • Labels will now include both sugars and added sugars. Scientific data shows that individuals consuming more than 10% of daily calories from added sugars will have difficulty staying within calorie limits to meet basic nutrition needs.
  • Vitamin D and potassium content are now required, but Vitamins A and C content will be a voluntary inclusion. Iron and calcium content will continue to be required.
  • Types of fat will still be required but “calories from fat” will no longer appear, since research has shown that the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount.
  • Daily values for some nutrients are being updated to reflect updated scientific evidence.
  • Serving sizes are getting an update to reflect more realistic understanding of eating habits and the effects of packaging on consumption.
Food Serving Sizes Get a Reality Check

New serving sizes. Click on image for larger view.

More detailed information and a series of questions and answers is available at the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm#images