For the first time in two decades, the FDA has proposed major changes to nutrition labels that appear on packaged foods. These designs place a premium on large, bold print for calories and serving size. The FDA says that it will accept public comments on the proposal for 90 days, according to NPR’s The Salt.
What’s more, the FDA wants to change serving sizes so that they reflect the way we actually eat. A plastic bottle of Coke would become one serving, rather than 2.5, because very few people abide by that rule anyway. In ice cream, the serving size will be one cup instead of 1/2 cup, because very few people eat a 1/2 cup anyway, reports NPR.
One of the biggest pushes behind the revamp has been Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, designed to end childhood obesity through healthy eating and exercise.
In an earlier statement, the First Lady said,
“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,”
While that may be true, the real problem is that the FDA is dumbing down the nutritional system to the lowest common denominator instead of putting systems in place to educate Americans about nutrition.
Take, for example, the new serving size of ice cream. The old nutritional label gave it a 1/2 cup serving size because it is packed with sugar. Dessert is not meant to be eaten in huge quantities. Instead of changing the serving size to fit the whims of an already-obese nation, Americans should learn how to moderate their eating and read a nutritional label.
Free nutrition classes, or even classes provided by high school and universities, should be changing the way we eat food instead of altering the information to suit our unhealthiest practices.
Eating your vegetables only goes so far if you’re guzzling soda at the same time.