FDA launches campaign to increase awareness of the new nutrition facts label

USA – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new education campaign aimed at increasing consumer awareness of the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods.

The campaign with the tagline “What’s In It For You?” comes at a time when food manufactures have started to adopt the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods – which begun in January this year.

The new Nutrition Facts label seeks to maintain healthy dietary practices by reflecting updated scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease.

FDA said that the campaign is intended for the general population and sub-population who face the increased risk of nutrition-related chronic disease. 

The Nutrition Facts label educational campaign is part of the agency’s comprehensive, multi-year Nutirtion Innovation Strategy, which is designed to empower consumers with information to make informed food choices and encourages industry innovation toward healthier foods that consumers are seeking.

The FDA is promoting the new Nutrition Facts label education campaign using videos of food products receiving a make-over, posting new looks via social media, and as part of a fashion show, modelling their new Nutrition Facts labels on the runway.

Along with promotional campaign materials to raise awareness with consumers, the FDA has developed additional new education materials.

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These include new web-pages, fact sheets, downloadable materials, an interactive label website, online informational videos, middle and high school curricula, and continuing medical education modules. 

FDA says that this new content is expected to be used by consumers, healthcare professionals, registered dietitians, teachers and community leaders to assist consumers in making informed dietary choices for themselves and their families.

“This campaign highlights that the new Nutrition Facts label has been designed to assist consumers in making better informed food choices,” said Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

“If a consumer wants to know how many calories there are in a serving, that information is now highlighted. If a consumer wants to choose a food with more vitamin D or less added sugars, that information is now right there on the label.”

The agency is also collaborating with other federal agencies, public health and consumer groups, professional associations, and industry groups to increase public awareness.

The new Nutrition Facts label – which FDA finalized in 2016 and is the first redesign of the Nutrition Facts in more than 20 years – is most distinguishable by its bold listings for serving sizes and calorie counts.

Additional changes include new required listings for added sugars, vitamin D and potassium, and a dual column version of the label for food packages that contain 2-3 servings which can be reasonably consumed at one time.

On the dual column label, one column lists the nutritional facts related to a single serving, and the other column lists nutritional facts for the contents of the entire package.

Serving sizes have also been updated to reflect that the amount of food and beverages people eat and drink has changed.

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