FDA proposes changes to nutrition labels - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

FDA proposes changes to nutrition labels

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This is the first overhaul to nutrition labels in more than 20 years. The writing will be larger and bold.

Serving sizes will have to accurately reflect what you're consuming and there will be more of an emphasis on total calories.

Nutritional content is how many people decide what to buy and eat.

"It's long overdue," said Ryan Knarr, with the St. David's North Austin Medical Center. "That food nutrient facts label is based on information from the 70's and 80's."

The clinical nutrition manager says he's happy to hear about the proposed changes to nutrient labels from the Food and Drug Administration.

"Serving sizes have exponentially increased since then 1990's," said Knarr. "One of the changes that they've been proposing to make is the deviation between sugars, what's naturally occurring, and what may be artificially put into the food."

It's hard to give up drinks like soda. It's because of the sugar. Research shows sugar can be just as addictive as cocaine...and some new research shows it can actually be eight times more addictive than cocaine.

Knarr said, "Once you get used to it, it's very hard to get off of it."

"You walk over to that coke machine and it's just like a crack machine. You can pour as much as you want and just keep going...If they had actually, I'm out, a picture to the side that said look you just had, you know, 20 tablespoons of sugar, maybe people would go, you know, maybe I don't really need it that much," said, Doug Foreman, the chairman of the Austin-based company, Beanitos. "We test everything that we make to be low glycemic."

With the new changes, some companies will be out millions of dollars.

Foreman said, "The majority of our products don't contain the added sugar... But some formulas, like for barbecue for instance, it may take one gram of sugar, so the rest of the line we're not going to have a problem with."

Knarr added, "Sugar, fat and sodium add flavor to food. Manufacturers kind of manipulate those in good quantities to make things taste good."

Ryan has some advice for anyone trying to navigate any nutrient labels.

"What's first on the ingredients list is most by wat, so you can use that as a way to help figure out, if sugar is a first ingredient it's the most," Knarr said. "If you can't read any of the writing or you can't read the ingredients list, is this something that you really should be eating?"

The FDA is accepting input from anyone for the next 90 days on the proposed rules.

Then a final rule will be issued later this year.

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