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FDA Stops Sugar Coating with Nutrition Label Change

Posted by Olivia Zabrodsky on

americone-dream-nutrPicture this- you’re constantly craving that creamy bowl of ice cream created by everyone’s two favorite men, Ben and Jerry. Let’s face it, with a flavor called “The Tonight Dough” and Jimmy Fallon staring you in the face, you basically have to buy it because, what else would you snack on while watching TV a night. But after a few weeks of purchasing this favorite sugary treat, the need for a healthier alternative with less sugar, fat and of course calories become a must. Not ready to give up on frozen desserts, Ben and Jerry, or Jimmy all together, you decide to make the simple switch from ice cream to froyo.

As you scan the back of the yogurt nutrition label, however, shock overwhelms you as it becomes clear that the grams of sugar have not been reduced whatsoever. In fact, the ice cream is twinning with the froyo as both contain a whopping 27 grams of sugar per serving. You begin to wonder, is it possible that eating frozen yogurt has the same effect on your body as eating the ice cream…sugar is sugar, right?

Well not exactly! And with the help of Michelle Obama, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed that not all sugar is the same and that consumers should be properly informed on the type of sugar they are eating before they eat it. According to the FDA, the future nutrition label will now include a “declaration of grams and a percent daily value for “added sugars” to help consumers know how much sugar has been added to the product.” By initiating this switch, it is now possible to differentiate between natural and processed sugars. This is obviously great news for the freshest nutrition bar ever created (hint hint); our label will now have the power to further demonstrate the high quality of ingredients and validate that not all sugar is the same.

On top of the sugar change, the new nutrition labels will also be altering the design of the package to ensure “calories” and “servings” are seen in bigger and bolder font. Serving sizes will be adjusted to provide a more realistic portion option based off scientific research, indicative of modern American serving tendencies. For example, when you do buy that pint of Ben & Jerry’s, the serving size will no longer remain ½ of a cup but rather 2/3 (which makes it much easier to be cognizant of serving sizes when deciding whether or not to eat the whole container!). Additionally, Vitamin D and potassium percentages must be placed on every label and there will be a “dual column” in which the label will “indicate the amount of calories and nutrients on both a “per serving” and “per package”/”per unit” basis.”

Still stuck deciding between ice cream and froyo for dessert? Well within the next 2 years the choice may become much easier with the opportunity to determine whether those labels are truly “twinning” or if the difference is all in added vs. processed sugars. Ben & Jerry we still love you…for now! Only time will tell if you’ve “added” too much sweet stuff or if the ingredients prove naturally nutritious.