A makeover for Food labels

| 12 Comments

According to New York Times, the congress has passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act that require the Food companies give more detail nutrition facts on the label when packing the food products. For the most part, the label need to list amount of calories, serving size and ingredient, and giving more the food facts label a makeover. Makeover is meaning the highlight important parts of the label because it will prevent unnecessary and misleading words from confusing consumers.

The change to the food label should be include putting calorie and serving size information in the larger type at the top of the label so the customers will know immediately how much they are eating. The labels need to make the ingredient list easier to read by printing it in regular type, not all capital letters. Also using bullets separate ingredients instead of allowing them to all run together. The labels need to list minor ingredients and allergens separately from the main ingredient list and highlight allergy information in red. The labels need to list similar ingredients together and show the percentage by weight, for example sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and grape juice concentrate are all forms of sugar, and those should be listed in parenthesis under the catchall heading "sugars". The companies should use the red labeling and the word "High" when a product has more than 20 % of the daily recommendation for fats, sugars, sodium or cholesterol. The labels need to be clear which sugars are added to the product vs those that occur naturally.

I think that is a good idea to make the Food labels more clearly, so we will know what in the food we buy. I like to see how much calories, sugar, and serving size I can get from the food because that help me to avoid eating unhealthy food or eating much sugar. Some people like to have more sweet or less sweet, they can see better and quickly if the label was highlight in red. As we discuss in class last week about sweeter in corn syrup, label reading is very important to let us know whether it is artificial sugar or natural sugar, we will know exactly how much sugar in the corn syrup so we can make the choice better. More important that you will know how much fat on the food if the label using the word "High" you will know more than 20% fat you will get from this product, you may not want buy this product if you are on diet.

 

12 Comments

This is part of the solution, but I'm not sure that it will have that much of an impact. So, one will have more information about what is in their food. However, without knowing the dangers of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), what good is it to know that it is in one's food? When I'm at the grocery store, I would like to think that I have a pretty good idea of what is good for me and what is not. Avoid the Snickers, eat more veggies and fruit. I really don't need more detail information on either of them. Information on the dangers of HFCS and the like is what America really needs!

I think this sounds like a good idea. Many people have issues with reading food labels and actually understanding them. If less jargon is added to confuse the consumers, hopefully they will make a better informed choice of the products they choose.

Sometimes, I don't think labels don't help much. They can claim to have multigrain ingredients but we don't know what they mean by it. Is it natural or synthesized in lab? How much of it is good for us? Labels won't tell you the all of the truth, otherwise, their products won't sell. I found an interesting article that can help us understand some of the labels more: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/2009/11/exposed-bogus-claims-on-food-labels.html

Also, here's a funny comic about food labels: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Qu9bpfsvh_Q/SwrcHQzvsFI/AAAAAAAABOI/-F4FBZ-VSOk/s400/honest_labels_600.jpg

Clearer food labels maybe a good idea in theory, but the difference it will actually make as far as what people buy will be small at best. The consumers that are concerned with what’s in their food they are buying and eating can look at the current labels and find all the same information found on the remodeled label. The consumers that buy what looks appealing or simply tastes good won't be swayed away from a product because there’s bold print on the back of the package that says its high in sodium or fat, it’s likely they know this already and just don't care.

It seems like a good idea and a step in the right direction. I think the current label is too confusing and if they can make the labeling a bit easier it might deter some customers from buying foods that are unhealthy. Labels should also become clearer in the sense that they don't hide crucial information, ingredients from the customer. Ultimitley, the onus is on the customer though to decide whats good for them and what's not, because food companies just want to sell there products and there going to do whatever it takes to make the product attractive to the customer.

The idea of a more detailed food label seems to suggest that people are becoming more health conscious. I know that I have. Having a much more clear and available list of ingredients will help many people. Many times I have had to do math in my head when the nutrition label would only indicate how many calories, fat, carbohydrates, and sodium content were for only a small portion of the entire bottle of drink or bag of food, etc. Although this does not seem like a concrete solution in solving the world's growing obesity problems it may help to educate individuals on exactly how much and of what they eat. I for one am happy about this new act.

I agree that food labels should be more specific. However there is only so much space on the side of a soup can or whatnot. I think companies should provide more detailed ingredient and nutritional information and make it available online for people to view. It is also kind of disturbing that if the ingredient has a small enough amount then it doesn't even need to be listed. They can just call it "and other artificial flavors." It just goes to show how little we actually know about what we are eating.

I agree with you. It’s important to for us to know what’s in the food we ingest, but lets be realistic and think bout that statement for a minute - how often do we thoroughly check the label on our purchased food items?
Selling gimmicks successfully advertise our food items using terms like “zero calories” or “all natural” – how gullible are we to buy into all of these claims?

- lili k

I believe we are headed in the right direction with this new Nutrition Labeling and Education Act which requires food companies to give more detailed nutrition facts and information. I believe some of the food labels can often be too misleading. Some things on the labels stand out more than others, and I believe that is a big problem. I also believe characters on packages should be removed. I know it's a jab in advertisement schemes, but maybe we have gone too far with our advertisement tactics. They do look cool, but I believe they often lead us to a misconception of what we are eating.

I like the label redesign idea. Though I don't think it will necessarily help with the obesity problem. Even though we are more clearly explaining the contents of food, people will buy what they can afford. Most cheap foods are not made with natural ingredients but highly processed ones.

It's a good start but we have a long way to go.

I think that this idea of a clearer food labeling is both a good and bad idea. It is good, since not a lot of people are familiar with big and weird words that are on the food labels. This way they will understand what they are eating and what products go in their bodies. On the other hand, this is a bad idea since not many people read the food labels, therefore they do not care what goes in their stomachs. So there are definately many pros and cons to such a situation.

I see this label idea as being something that is really needed, because a lot of our foods really aren't labeled properly. One thing I really don't like though is having certain things highlighted differently. This highlighting of things will make them appear negative and will affect some products more than others, even if they are just as healthy if not healthier. I believe label reading has started becoming smaller and smaller which in effect is not good. Consumers should be able to clearly see what they are buying so that when they get fat and sue someone for making them fat the producer can go back and see it is clear cut on the label what we sold you.

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This page contains a single entry by nguy1032 published on December 7, 2009 11:36 PM.

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