Proposed FDA Rule Changes Build on Consumer Discussion & May Portend Packaged Foods Market Changes
In an ongoing effort to combat obesity and promote public health the Obama administration is promoting proposed Food and Drug Administration changes to food labeling, the first significant changes since 1993. The agency proposed the update on February 27th as the and among the proposed changes are:
Updated serving sizes to more accurately reflect actual consumption
Larger, bolded calorie count font
New daily values which are displayed first
A new category called “added sugar”
To see how well these changes resonated with consumer concerns DataRank analyzed consumer conversations around nutrition labels on a sample of consumer-packaged goods to see which ingredients got the most attention.
Given the large concern around calories, serving size, and sugar, the proposed changes play into consumer’s go-to indicators of health. One area of change which has generated little discussion is “recommended daily values”, or the average amount of any vitamin, chemical, or quantity a person should consume in a day, indicates consumers rely less on these pre-tabulated measures than the raw values provided on the label. The FDA’s proposed updates and more prominent position will likely serve to bring more consumer focus to the daily values while enhancing discussion on already important indicators. Overall, the food label update is hitting consumers’ concerns. Other concerns, such as genetically modified organism labeling, are still relatively far from the FDA’s rulemaking docket regardless of activist pressure.
The nutrition label update could herald changes in both consumer and producer behavior. Consumers, already sensitive to caloric intake and the role of sugars in their diets, may shy away from products with added sugar or become even stricter calorie-counters as the information becomes more prominent. Companies could also feel the changes as consumer preferences adjust to new information and attention is drawn to parts of the label that previously received little more than a cursory glance. Advocates of the changes argue the more prominently displayed dietary information may have just this effect, driving changes in the packaged foods marketplace. Firms may indeed feel the pressure with some companies considering changes to serving side or accelerating formula changes while well-positioned products may use their formulas as hero claims to gather disaffected consumers.
To read more about the proposed food label changes and the reasoning behind them take a look at this article at Tufts Now in the link below.
*Chart shows ranked discussion of traits by volume
^FDA insignia represent categories with proposed rule changes
Packaged foods sold in the United States would display calorie counts more prominently and include the amount of added sugar under a proposal to significantly update nutritional labels for the first time in 20 years, as health officials seek to reduce obesity and combat related diseases such as diabetes.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday its proposal would also ensure that the amount of calories listed per serving reflects the portions that people typically eat. That change may result in per-serving calorie counts doubling for some foods such as ice cream.
(Photo: FDA/AP Photo)
From the USDA Food and Nutrition Service
A brave kid filmmaker goes undercover to reveal the truth about the food service program at his elementary school.
Zachary is a fourth grader at a large New York City public elementary school. Each day he reads the Department of Education lunch menu online to see what is being served. The menu describes delicious and nutritious cuisine that reads as if it came from the finest restaurants. However, when Zachary gets to school, he finds a very different reality. Armed with a concealed video camera and a healthy dose of rebellious courage, Zachary embarks on a six month covert mission to collect video footage of his lunch and expose the truth about the City’s school food service program.
This short documentary provides a fun and spirited insider’s perspective on the elementary school lunch room.
WASHINGTON — High-calorie sports drinks and candy bars will be removed from school vending machines and cafeteria lines as soon as next year, replaced with diet drinks, granola bars and other healthier items.
The Agriculture Department said Thursday that for the first time it will make sure that all foods sold in the nation’s 100,000 schools are healthier by expanding fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits to almost everything sold during the school day.
That includes snacks sold around the school and foods on the “a la carte” line in cafeterias, which never have been regulated before. The new rules, proposed in February and made final this week, also would allow states to regulate student bake sales.
The rules, required under a child nutrition law passed by Congress in 2010, are part of the government’s effort to combat childhood obesity. The rules have the potential to transform what many children eat at school
(From The Washington Post)
But as Quartz reports, this trend doesn’t mean beef production has slowed down:
It has actually increased by 600% since 1950 due to population growth. But more consumers are turning to healthier forms of protein, and fish farming, or aquaculture, has skyrocketed as natural fish reserves have declined. Meanwhile, rising soybean and grain prices needed to sustain cattle have contributed to meat’s decline. This year may be the first time that people eat more farmed fish than fish caught in the wild, according to the report.
A new study in the journal The Lancet outlines 10 key nutrition interventions that could save the lives of almost a million children a year.
These interventions include giving vitamin A and zinc supplements to toddlers, and offering calcium to pregnant women.
Host Marco Werman speaks with the study’s lead author, Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta of the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan.
Parents and Educators
MyPlate Kids’ Place has resources that can help children make healthier choices. ChooseMyPlate.gov offers science-based advice to help kids and their parents build healthy meals and maintain or achieve a healthy weight. MyPlate Kids’ Place provides online resources and tools for children to help them make wise choices in a fun and appealing way.
Parents and teachers are invited to use the MyPlate Kids’ Place resources to deliver credible information and find “teachable moments” that will influence children’s choices at home and at school.
(From the US Dep. of Agriculture)
The eaTipster mobile app was created by Dietitians of Canada to make it a little easier for you to eat healthy. Dietitians serve up a trusted new tip for you each and every day.
Read Them: Each tip is fortified with more details backed by research.
Savour Them: Add tips to your favourites to digest later.
Serve Them: Dish up tips to your friends, sharing on Facebook, twitter, e-mail and text.
Get Them: Set daily reminders to receive new daily tips to suit your routine.
For the French version, change the settings to French.