Informative: New Nutrition Labels

Do you use nutrition labels?  You should!  And the FDA is finally making it easier to do.

Nutrition labels have been notoriously difficult to interpret and most individuals report not regularly checking nutrition labels when they purchase packaged foods.  However, this is changing and nutrition labels are changing.  The nation as a whole is becoming much more conscious about nutrition and what we put in our bodies.  This is a large reason why rates of obesity at least appear as though they are starting to level off for adults (and even declining in very young children).

With this comes the first significant change in nutrition labels in 20 years!

nutrition labels

There are 3 major changes, all of them good:

1. Serving sizes are going to be adjusted to reflect what people normally consume. So you’ll see nutrition info for a full 20oz bottle of soda instead of just 40% of it (note a few companies did this voluntarily already- good job) and a cup of ice cream instead of 1/2 cup.

2. Calories are being made much more prominent. Hands down the most important thing an individual can pay attention to with regard to diet is the number of calories consumed. That’s not to say that other things aren’t important but, plane and simple, calories determine our body weight.

3. ‘Added Sugars’ has been added. Therefore, manufacturers now need to report just how much (and it’s often an insane amount) of sugar they dump into your food and drinks. Hopefully this will not only help people to become aware of just how much added sugar they are ingesting (a can of soda has 8 teaspoons, while the RDA for women is only 6!!), but also get manufacturers to start lowering the amount of added sugars.

Several other minor changes have been proposed but those are the big ones.  These are GREAT changes, and the FDA should be commended.  But…  it’s still going to be a couple years till we actually see the new labels on food products on the shelves.

Click here to see Dr. Ochner talk about the new nutrition labels on ABC News Digital.

Quick Tips: Healthy Eating Out

Brief practical advice for healthy eating on the go:


hotdog pizza small

Yes, a little satire but you would be amazed how many of us shovel things that are not necessarily great tasting and definitely not healthy in to our mouths.  At the very least, make sure you’re getting one of those things- some less healthy things are worth if if you absolutely love those things and eating them brings you immense joy.  Sans joy in eating something, why not make at least make it healthy??

The overall point is that we are happier when we enjoy our diets.  Things that can get in the way of our happiness are not eating foods we enjoy eating and being unhappy with our bodies.  Things like hotdog pizzas and cold leftover restaurant meals don’t provide much in terms of eating pleasure  but contribute heavily to our waistlines.  These foods should be the first to go!