Tell FDA your thoughts on the proposed Nutrition Fact Label (by Aug. 1)

A change to the Nutrition Label we are so familiar with and food serving sizes used in labels is currently being considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Commenting on the dockets Proposed Nutrition Label represents a key opportunity for diabetes advocacy!

Background

Here are the changes being proposed:Proposed_Label_-_Whats_the_Difference

These proposed changes are addressed in the Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels docket. You can share your comments about it here. Below (within the “How To Act”) are some recommendations on comments you can share with FDA about this docket.

FDA_INFO_WH_FINAL

These proposed changes are addressed in the Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Products that Can Reasonably be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Updating of Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Approaches for Recommending Smaller Portion Sizes docket. You can share your comments about it here. Below (within the “How To Act”) are some recommendations on comments you can share with FDA about this docket.

For more background, read the FDA’s Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information for Labeling & Nutrition.

 

In the spirit of following the leaders shared during the recent MasterLab event, it makes sense to share the perspective of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) about the proposed label and food serving sizes. Here is a summary that ADA shared with its advocates recently:

We submitted comments on two proposed rules from the FDA modifying the Nutrition Facts label that appears on most packaged foods in the United States and gives consumers information on the nutritional content of the food. The FDA is proposing changes to the content and layout of the Nutrition Facts label.

In our comments to the FDA, we focused primarily on the pieces of information most important to people with diabetes. As such, we supported the FDA’s plans to require “Added Sugar” content be listed on the Nutrition Facts label.

We also supported the FDA’s plans to increase the font size of the number of servings in the package and the amount of calories per serving.

In addition, we supported the FDA’s use of updated data to determine the serving size for many food categories, and to require packages with between two and four servings to include nutrition information for one serving and for the whole package.

The Association opposed the FDA’s proposal to abbreviate the listing for “Total Carbohydrate” to “Total Carbs” since this could cause some confusion for individuals with diabetes who use the “carb choice” method of tracking their carbohydrate intake.

You can read ADA’s comments to FDA about the Nutrition Label Proposed Rule here, and  about the Serving Size Rule here.

Also, Krista Maier, Associate Director of Public Policy at ADA recently participated in an interview on this topic in TuDiabetes. The video explains very well the changes proposed by FDA and ADA’s comments about them.

How to Act

ADA and others have sent in their comments, but the FDA needs to hear our individual voices as advocates.

By Aug 01, 2014 11:59 PM ET, pick some or all of the following points (based on ADA’s comments) to tell FDA about.

Suggested comments for the Food Labeling docket:

  • I have had (type 1/type 2) diabetes since _____. As a person touched by diabetes, the food I eat has a direct impact on my blood sugars, and I rely on the information contained in nutrition labels on a daily basis.
  • I strongly supports FDA’s proposal to require “added sugars” be declared on the Nutrition Facts label, since these types of sugars (as opposed to sugars that occur naturally in foods) have lower nutritional value.
  • I support the FDA’s proposal to continue to require “total calories” be included on the label and to increase the prominence of the calorie declaration: sometimes this number can be very hard to find, specially considering that some people with diabetes develop complications that affect their eyesight.
  • I strongly opposed FDA’s proposal to replace “Total Carbohydrate” with “Total Carbs” on the Nutrition Facts label. Many people with diabetes use the term “Carb Choice” as a serving of food that contains 15 grams of total carbohydrate. You can see how changing these words could cause tremendous confusion!

To comment on the Proposed Nutrition Label, go to this page and click on Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 5.12.31 PM

 

Suggested comments for the Food Serving Sizes docket:

  • I have had (type 1/type 2) diabetes since _____. As a person touched by diabetes, the food I eat has a direct impact on my blood sugars, and I rely on the information contained in nutrition labels on a daily basis.
  • I support the proposed revision of the definition of a single-serving container requiring all foods packaged for individual sale containing less than 2 servings of food to be considered a single-serving container and be labeled as one serving. The easier it is to know what nutrients are within a package, the better informed the decision about the meal.
  • In terms of Dual Column Labeling options FDA presented for the content of the Nutrition Facts label for an entire container, I strongly urge FDA to require full nutrition information (carbohydrates included) per serving and per container. This is a matter of making better informed decisions about meals easier to make (requiring less math).
  • All revisions to the Nutrition Facts label and the underlying calculations used to determine the quantities presented on the labels need to be supported by an extensive consumer education campaign, to ensure they are not misunderstood by consumers as recommendations to consume larger portions. A good starting point would be visuals like the ones published by FDA, when they invited us to submit comments.

To comment on the Proposed Food Serving Sizes, go to this page and click on Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 5.12.31 PM

 

Whatever you do, don’t stay quiet.

  • iowaman52

    The only thing I agree with is the bigger font, which they can still use on the current labels, I don’t think we need new labels, My eyesight is bad and I may go blind in the future but it will not be because of my diabetes, I was diagnosed with corneal imperfection.

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