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21 Years

Posted on 01/28/2014

It’s been 21 years since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated food nutrition labels. Wow! That’s a long time, 21 years…I was still in my infancy as a business owner 21 years ago. So much has changed since then! Nutritional recommendations have undergone many changes for instance. It seems befitting our food labels follow suit and become up to date with the times.  

When the current food label came along, it was a welcome change for people like me, trying to help people improve their eating habits. However, with change, much confusion ensued. Most people did not truly understand it. I can see its usefulness, but I also see where it could be better and more informative for people.  

There still is a great deal of confusion today by consumers over those labels. The biggest questions usually revolve around on serving sizes, and with it being based on an average daily caloric intake of 2,000 calories, what does that mean for the person needing fewer calories? How does one change the serving size to accommodate for their needs?  

I realize not everyone out there has a medical or nutrition background, so my hope is during this 90 day review process by the White House via the FDA, that they listen to some real people…the average Joes and Janes out there, trying to make sense of it and trying to feed themselves and their families healthfully. I also hope they listen to experts in the field of nutrition and health advocates who know what consumers want, need and desire from the labels…in their terms in which anyone picking up a package can understand how it relates to them and their nutritional needs.  

A few suggestions from health advocates for the new food labels include:

·       Include the actual percentage of whole wheat on a label, since many food manufacturers label products as “whole wheat” when there’s only a small percentage of it in the product.

·       Easier to understand measurements, such as teaspoons, as well as grams for things like added sugars.

·       Noting added sugars, as well as natural sugars that occur in things like fruit.

·       Make serving sizes easier to decipher, including items that are single serve and meant to be eaten in one serving rather than several.

·       Front package labeling in order to have certain nutrients called out and more readily available to consumers.  

It’s not going to happen overnight, this is a long time coming. Hopefully the FDA takes into account all the necessary changes for a more informative and accurate food label.  

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Here’s an update on our 10 terrific contestants competing in the Seattle Sutton’s 2014 Slim Down Contest. In 2 weeks, they have lost a total of 123.2 pounds – all contestants have lost weight both weeks!  Check back here next week for an update on how they are doing and who’s taking the lead at the 3-week mark.

 

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Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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