Yesterday, the First Lady and the FDA announced proposed updates to the Nutrition Facts label. The new label will include added sugars and certain nutrients such as Vitamin D, modifications to the servings sizes, and slight changes to the format, emphasizing areas such as calories, serving sizes, and percent daily value.
As stated by the First Lady, “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.”
There’s no doubt that the Nutrition Facts label needs a makeover. Its current form may appear simple at first glance, but in reality it’s quite cryptic and more confusing than helpful. That said, any change is better than no change. But, does the Nutrition Facts label truly “tell whether it’s good for your family?”
No. The label is too focused on calories. The recommended “2,000” daily calorie diet follows a “one-size-fits-all” formula, and we are not a “one-size-fits-all” society. We are all different. Some people may require significantly more calories, while others require less; this is heavily dependent on activity levels, lifestyle, body type, etc.
Regardless, calories should not be the driving health factor on the label. It’s a MAJOR health distraction.
The MOST IMPORTANT factor is the INGREDIENT listing. The words not the numbers should be front and center. Parents and consumers need to know what they are consuming vs. trying to understand a mathematical equation based on daily values that may or may not pertain to them. Calories and servings are a moot point when a potential science experiment could be bubbling inside our bodies.
Today, Americans are consuming chemicals, unnatural and synthetic substances, and ingredients stripped of all their nutritional value. This is what is making us unhealthy. Yes, calorie intake and portions do matter. BUT, food quality should be first and foremost. Americans need to eat ACTUAL, REAL food.
- Real food does not require a Nutrition Facts label.
- Real food is not found in a decorative box or package with numerous health and marketing claims.
- Real food is not made of foreign ingredients such as yoga mat chemicals.
- Real food is broken down by the body. Have you ever wondered why a soft drink has zero calories? The body does not recognize ingredients such as aspartame and Splenda (sucralose); thus, it cannot metabolize it. That’s scary! Shouldn’t you be more concerned about something that your body can’t process vs. its calorie load?
- Real food does not have frightening side effects. Aspartame is one of the worst offenders.
If you want to “be able to tell what’s truly good for your family,” strive to eat food without a Nutrition Facts label. These foods are found in the perimeter of grocery stores and they don’t require loud marketing claims to convince you to eat it. Have you ever seen a Nutrition Facts label on a bunch of kale or an apple? The Nutrition Facts label is a health distraction vs. a guide. Focus on the actual food substance – is it REAL food?
What are your thoughts on the proposed Nutrition Facts label?