FDA Mulls Changes To Sometimes-Confusing Nutrition Labels


nutrition-factsAre nutrition labels too much for consumers to digest?

From misleading serving sizes to confusing calorie counts, many think nutrition labels are due for an update.

Jennifer Beall is a college student living on her own for the first time. She said when she buyssomething 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,” Beall told CBS 2′s Alexis Christoforous on Wednesday.

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.

While some labels may tell you the number of calories, there is sometimes confusion over whether the calorie count is referring to an individual serving. Consumers may not realize that there are multiple servings in one particular product.

And it can be easy to eat more than you intended. CBS 2′s Christoforous found a muffin label that said it had 170 calories per serving, but a serving size is half a muffin.

Beall said some of the labels don’t make sense.

“Like I got pickles and it said a fourth of a pickle was the serving size,” Beall said.

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, 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.

Read more at CBS LOCAL

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Having been on a diet and trying to count calories according to the “serving size” information, I couldn’t agree more. To make it worse, some foods give the serving size in ounces. Who uses a postal scale to calibrate their lunch? I also noticed that the serving size is finagled so that the “calories” always comes out to 100 or only slightly above. It’s definitely time to fix this.

    Try to imagine what it’s like to be diabetic and trying to make sense out of all this when a mistake could mean diabetic shock or passing out. (That’s why I went on the diet. Like many people with a history of Type II diabetes in the family, I needed to lose weight to avoid it. Check your own family medical history out – make sure you aren’t ch”v at risk yourself.)


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