World
Michelle Obama to call for nutrition label changes
Publish Date: Feb 27, 2014
Michelle Obama to call for nutrition label changes
Hot Head Cheese for sale is seen at the Eastern Market February 25, 2014, in Washington, DC. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WASHINGTON - First Lady Michelle Obama plans to announce a series of proposed changes to food labels Thursday, aiming to make healthy choices easier for consumers in a country where obesity is rampant.

The revisions would relate to the required fine print to include more realistic descriptions of what amounts to a serving, mandatory potassium and vitamin D amounts, and a new line to detail "added sugars" -- not just total sugars.

The calorie count would also be more prominent. But not fat content, since health experts understand more today than they did 20 years ago about good and bad fats, administration officials said.

Other changes would attempt to eliminate confusion about how much a container holds, so if a soda had 20 ounces (0.6 liters), the calorie count on the label would reflect a 20 ounce soda, not a fraction according to each of the 2.5 servings inside.

The proposals are open for a 90-day comment period and would likely take at least two years to implement, administration officials told reporters ahead of the White House event, set for 1600 GMT.

"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," said a statement from the First Lady released ahead of the announcement.

"So this is a big deal, and it's going to make a big difference for families all across this country."

For Obama, advocating healthy eating and exercise, particularly among young people, has been a centerpiece of her efforts since her husband was elected president in 2008.

More than one third (35.7 percent) of Americans are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a trend that has remained steady among adults in recent years.

But new CDC data released earlier this week showed, for the first time, a steep 43 percent drop in obesity among the very young, aged two to five, signaling potential progress against the epidemic.

Some pushback over the labels is expected from the food industry, particularly regarding salt.

Daily value of sodium would be slightly reduced from 2,400 to 2,300 milligrams per day. However, people at risk for high blood pressure should limit their intake to 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily, but that would not be declared on the label.

Some 700,000 grocery store food products are emblazoned with the nutrition facts label, which has only undergone one major update in two decades.

"For 20 years consumers have come to rely on the iconic nutrition label to help them make healthier food choices," said Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

"To remain relevant, the FDA's newly proposed Nutrition Facts label incorporates the latest in nutrition science as more has been learned about the connection between what we eat and the development of serious chronic diseases impacting millions of Americans."

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Islam has been tarnished by "forces of darkness" and Saudi Arabia should do more to protect its youth from violent extremism....
Ukraine says won
Ukraine''s military said Sunday it would not pull back its troops from the frontline until all sides abide by a ceasefire under the terms of a new peace plan....
Two Iranians held in Kenya amid terror alert
AUTHORITIES in Kenya say they have arrested two men believed to be Iranian nationals transiting through the East African nation on fake passports...
Queen urges unity after Scotland votes
Queen Elizabeth II has called for "mutual respect" among Scots following a divisive campaign in a referendum that saw Scotland reject independence from the UK....
France begins strikes in Iraq as anti-jihadist drive widens
France carried out its first air strike against the Islamic State group in Iraq Friday, boosting US-led efforts to unite the world against the growing threat posed by the jihadists....
Obama welcomes Scotland
US President Barack Obama congratulated Scotland Friday on its "full and energetic exercise of democracy," as he welcomed the result of its historic referendum rejecting independence from the United Kingdom....
Should bride price be made optional?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter