Danville Nutritionist Talks About Nutritional Label Changes - WSET.com - ABC13

Danville Nutritionist Talks About Nutritional Label Changes

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Danville, VA - Thanks to new changes on nutritional labels, dieting may soon get a little easier. That's because the FDA has proposed changes that would reflect modern standards. First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled those new standards Thursday.

These are the first changes in over two decades. Those outdated labels that you see on practically every grocery store item will get a make-over and help us better understand what the average person these days consumes.

You see them everywhere from your favorite oatmeal to a can of soda, but do you really pay attention to nutritional labels? First Lady Michelle Obama and the FDA hope the average consumer will get a better understanding of what they're eating with these new changes.

"Our guiding principal here is simple that you as a parent and as a consumer should be able to walk into a grocery store, pick an item off the shelf and tell whether it is good for your family," said Obama.

The new label has the calorie count bigger and in bold. They have also included 'added sugars', also known as "empty calories".

 Nutritionist Jennifer Dietz sees the new label as a good thing.

"I think that is a really good step in the right direction," said Dietz.

 Dietz says everyone, not just dieters, need to pay attention to nutritional facts. Another change has to do with those serving sizes. Dietz says they can be deceptive.

"You do have to educate yourself about what is a serving size," said Dietz.

Right now some products list a serving size as half a cup of ice cream or half a muffin. The new serving size will change to a full cup and a whole muffin to take into account the current eating habits of average Americans.

"Maybe that would make a difference, maybe people would not eat ice cream as much if they saw how many calories it was per cup of ice cream," said Dietz.

Changing these labels comes at a big cost, the government estimates about $2 billion to companies, but they will have a couple of years to comply with these standards.

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