Quite a lot of buzz was generated last week when the FDA announced plans to rework the standard nutrient facts panel found on retail food items.
I can't help but notice that these proposed changes are part of a much grander societal shift in the way nutrition and preventative healthcare measures are addressed. With the passage of the national menu labeling law, the recent overall of the long-standing food pyramid to the more straightforward MyPlate, and now the makeover of the nutrition facts panel, it's indisputable that the FDA is responding to the growing concern about obesity and its associated healthcare costs for America.
The evolution of the nutrition label has been a long time coming. Though the label is nearly two decades old, discussions about changing its layout have been in the works since 2003. A particularly fascinating contest was held earlier this year by UC Berkeley and Good Magazine, which resulted in 60 design proposals and a world of feedback and commentary. It would seem it's not just the FDA that is pushing for change: consumers and healthcare professionals alike are rooting for a reformed design. Heck, when you need a Registered Dietitian to decode a nutrition label, it's a sign that we're ready for change.
I'm excited to see the changes that will result from this movement. No doubt there will be some resistance from the industry regarding the costs of such an undertaking, but with modern web-based technologies, these changes can be affordably and almost effortlessly implemented.
What would you like to see emphasized on a more modernized nutrition label?