Food Label Rating
October 25, 2011 by staff
Food Label Rating, Just as the Energy Star label helps you choose the appliances, a new report says that a classification symbol in front of every can of soup, cereal boxes and containers of yogurt can help buyers quickly home with healthier foods.
Thursday’s report urged the Food and Drug Administration to adopt new food labeling confusing mess to clean off packages today and give consumers a quick way to compare options.
It would replace the deep Nutrition Facts panel now in the rear or side of food packages. However, few buyers stop reading or listening to print in the center of the craft stores.
The Institute of Medicine says it’s time to fix in advance the most important information for health: the number of calories per serving _ and how big serve is _ along with stars or some other symbol to show at a glance how rates of food for certain fats, sodium and added sugars.
“American buyers are buyers busy,” said Ellen Wartella, professor of psychology at Northwestern University, who chaired the IOM committee that studied the subject at the request of federal health authorities.
“We want a very simple system that says if you have three brands, the product is healthier than one with two brands.”
How to get Americans to eat more wisely is a big issue like obesity and diet-related diseases are skyrocketing. The FDA was working to change the food labeling system to make it easier to use, and has pledged to take action on inaccurate labeling has confused consumers.
But a food safety ranking, rather than just providing information to consumers to try to judge that for themselves, would be a major change in government food policy. The agency did not say if he was interested in that kind of approach grades, or how soon he would make changes in the labeling, but Thursday’s report called for a thoughtfulanlysis that will help decide the next steps.
“FDA agrees consumers can benefit from a front of pack labeling system that transmits information about nutrition in a way that is simple and consistent with the nutrition information panel,” said spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey.
The Institute of Medicine recommendation that they face an uphill battle with food manufacturers are pushing their own version of food labels in the front, but do not like the idea of ??a ranking of healthy foods those of a competitor.
“We believe the most effective programs are those that consumers trust and not to tell consumers what they should and should not eat,” said Scott Faber, a lobbyist for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
Modify the behavior of the diet is very difficult, and the amount of a role nutrition plays in disclosure is not clear. Some studies show that readers of food labels eat much healthier, the IOM found.
On the other hand, sales have changed a little when the Hannaford supermarket chain introduced its own whole foods store classification system in 2006, said Lori Kaley, a registered dietitian at the University of Southern Maine and a scientific adviser Licensing company that markets Guiding Stars rating system of additional stores today. Sales of high fat content of whole milk dropped as some buyers switched to three stars, two stars skim or 1 percent milk, for example, and some manufacturers to reformulate their own brands to be evaluated more favorably, said.
However, other studies have found little effect of food labeling, questioning how many people read the labels. Indeed, waistlines are still growing despite the proliferation of nutrition information on food packaging and, more recently, the amount of calories on restaurant menus.
The IOM panel said part of the problem may be consumer confusion. Highlighting “good source of fiber” or “low fat” or “high calcium” in front of a package does not remove the bad news lurking in the nutrition label mandated by the FDA in the back. A low fat food could have done to the change in taste with a lot of extra sugar. Or a breakfast bar with a large amount of fiber may also contain heart damaging trans fat excess.
“If you have a health claim, consumers feel that products in general as a healthy product,” said Tracy Fox, a nutrition consultant in Washington, DC, and member of the IOM committee. “At least half of those with a nutrient content is higher in one of these (other ingredients) believe that consumers should reduce.”
Under the system proposed by IOM, food could earn up to three points _ meet certain nutritional standards to maintain a sodium, added sugars, or a pair of bad fat, saturated fat and trans fat, below designated levels.
In the cereal aisle, simple oatmeal can get three points, while the flavored kind you get only two because of the added sugar, for example.
“If I always buy Triscuits, I’ll buy again. But if a decision needs to be done, we hope this will help consumers make better decisions,” Fox said IOM committee.
Some foods are healthy enough to be classified at all _ a sugary drink does not get a point for their lack of fat. Whatever the rating, the IOM proposal says that all food also needs a clear front packet count calories: 150 calories for 16 chips, for example.
For now, the Grocery Manufacturers Association says the industry has begun the deployment of voluntary labels called “Acts Up Front”, which will list the calories and saturated fat, sodium and sugar per serving levels _ not, qualifications.
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