Nutrition Keys will soon appear on the front of Food Packaging
Say hello to ‘Nutrition Keys’. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute unveiled the industry’s voluntary Nutrition Keys that will display calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar content per serving on the front of food packaging. Some packages will also contain additional information known as “nutrients to encourage” such as potassium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, iron and protein.
The rational behind the new labels stems from a push from First Lady, Michele Obama, as part of her initiative to solve childhood obesity. The new labels are meant to give consumers a quick and easy reference to nutritional information and encourage healthier food choices.
Although voluntary, most companies have jumped on-board and will begin to add the Nutrition Keys within the next few months, but will also keep in place the required black and white nutritional information box usually found on the back of the packaging.
Will the Nutrition Key initiative really help with food choices?
- Nutrition Keys don’t really provide us with new information. The mandated nutrition box on the back of the product already has this information plus much more.
- The new labeling is a bit condescending towards the consumer. Are we as consumers too lazy to flip the product over and look at all the nutritional information.
- When I decide whether or not to purchase a product I need to have all the information in one spot: ingredients and all the nutritional information. The Nutrition Keys don’t give us the full picture. Dr. David Katz gave a great example: “Diet soda has no calories, no sodium, no sugar, and no saturated fat, so by the Nutrition Keys criteria, it would look like a perfect food. Does anybody believe it is?”
- I am undecided as to whether or not consumers will pay attention to this new form of labeling-or just ignore it. I guess only time will tell…..
- If you’ve had a chance to check out The Nutrition Keys, the print is much larger than the nutrition box. Since I am constantly squinting to read the fine print in the nutrition box, the large print is a small plus.
- This is the first time we have seen negative information about a product front and center on a product-usually it is hidden away on the back.
Continue to flip your products over and real the FULL version of nutritional information. This is the only way to make an educated decision about your food choices. It can be confusing-but have no fear there is an app to help you sort through it all- Fooducate.
Looking for more information? Healthy Child Healthy World has some great tips on how to avoid the food label lies.
What are your thoughts on this new labeling? Do you think Nutrition Keys will help in the fight against childhood obesity? Will they help you make better food choices?