Integrative nutritionist Kathie Swift shares her top five recommendations for the FDA’s revised food labels:
1. Position “Front and Center”: Time-starved consumers need to “get the facts” on the front and center of the label so the nutrition headline jumps out at them and influences their purchasing decision.
2. Reduce the seduction of junk food by color-coding the the front of the label with a symbol that indicates both energy and nutrient density (RED = high calorie, low nutrients; YELLOW = high calorie, moderate nutrients; GREEN = high nutrient density)
3. Own up to the toxic ingredients in products. GMOs, colorings/dyes, unsafe additives, nanoparticles — the list goes on — should all be identified on the ingredient label and, again, in a cautionary yellow color.
4. Be sensible about serving sizes. The label should include realistic serving sizes and also dish up servings per container. Some muffins, for example, list 1/2 serving — now, who eats 1/2 of a muffin?
5. Get real. Consumers do not understand grams, so translate them into teaspoons (for instance, 8 grams of sugar equals about 2 teaspoons). Additionally, nutritionists have wanted to expand sugar(s) into natural and added sugar for years. (But speaking of “natural”… to be continued as to how that will be defined!)