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By August 1, Tell the FDA What You Want on Nutrition Labels!

Published: 7/28/14
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Back in February, the FDA proposed an update to the nutrition fact labels for food and drinks, which would be the first major update to these labels in over two decades. The agency has asked for public comments on the topic, which they will consider before finalizing the proposal, and submissions are due by August 1 at 11:59 pm EST.

Key changes in this proposal include making the calorie count and serving sizes more prominent on the label, increasing the focus on added sugars (which account for 16% of total daily calorie intake for the average American), and altering serving sizes to reflect the way people realistically eat. A full overview of the proposed changes can be found on the FDA’s website. These updates have the potential to be both beneficial to people with diabetes and society at large; food and sugar intake influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other chronic health issues, and it is important that consumers have a clear understanding of what goes into the foods they eat.

While we think that these proposed changes are a step in the right direction, there are definitely other improvements worth considering. For example, Dr. David Kessler suggested in a New England Journal of Medicine article that nutrition information should be readily available on the front of food products, rather than hidden away on the back. In Dr. Kessler’s suggested design, the label would be on the front of the product and contain its top three ingredients, the calorie count, and number of additional ingredients listed in bold, easy-to-read font.

While the deadline is approaching, our friends at the Diabetes Hands Foundation have created an excellent resource page to help guide people on how to post their opinions to the FDA.  Please visit for more information on how to make your voice heard- another excellent way to get involved! -AJW/NL

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