Bigger type = healthier eating?

Monday, May 23, 2016
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

nutrition label guidelinesThough consumers may soon get more information on their favorite food items, that's not stopping the debate over nutrition labels.

The Food and Drug Administration is giving food companies two years to update their packaging labels in the first major update of the labels since they were created in the 1990s. Calories will now be listed in bigger, bolder type, and consumers will get to see information on added sugars, or sugars and syrups added to foods during processing.

Some politicians, special-interest groups, and self-described consumer advocates have been raising concerns about added sugars.

"This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices," said First Lady Michelle Obama in a statement. She announced the labels in a speech May 20 as part of her "Let's Move!" campaign.

Stier

"While I don't think this is terrible, it tells us a little bit about the misguided thinking that drives this administration and the nanny-state approach," responds Jeff Stier, senior fellow and director of the Risk Analysis Division at The National Center for Public Policy Research.

He adds that this is a pivot away from the advice the government has been giving people about fat and dairy content.

"The government needs to ... kind of take a step back and stop demonizing any one food over another when the science is constantly shifting, which frustrates consumers," the senior fellow contends.

"What we saw happen before, when fat was being demonized, what companies did was they lowered the fat content because it was being highlighted. And in order to make the food palatable and appealing to consumers, they added more sugars – and we saw that happen across the board."

With added sugars now a big point of concern, Stier says companies will find a way to make their food more palatable, perhaps adding more fat or things people aren't as focused on at this time.

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