Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CSPI Seeks Revamped Nutrition Labels

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has proposed a revamp of the nutritional information labels that have been required on food packages for nearly two decades.

CSPI suggests the following improvements (reflected in the illustration on the right):

  • Put calorie and serving size information in larger type at the top of the label so it’s immediately clear how much you are eating.
  • Make the ingredient list easier to read by printing it in regular type instead of all capital letters. Use bullets to separate ingredients rather than allowing them to all run together.
  • List minor ingredients and allergens separately from the main ingredient list. Highlight allergy information in red.
  • List similar ingredients together and show the percentage by weight. For instance, sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and grape juice concentrate are all forms of sugar and should be listed in parenthesis under the catchall heading “sugars.”
  • Use red labeling and the word “high” when a product has more than 20 percent of the daily recommendation for fats, sugars, sodium or cholesterol.
  • Make it clear which sugars are added to the product versus those that occur naturally.
  • Display prominently the percentage of whole grains contained in a product.
  • List caffeine content.


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