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FDA Proposes Big Changes to Nutrition Labels

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(KCEN) – For the first time in 20 years, the FDA is proposing major changes to nutrition labels to make them easier to read and more informative.

The label would include "added sugars" to the list for the first time.  Potassium and vitamin D would also have to be labeled and daily values for sodium and fiber would be revised.

But a big change comes with calories and serving sizes. At first glance calories will stand out with a bolded and increased font size; same as serving sizes.

But it's more than just a font change. The FDA is pushing to change serving sizes to more realistic portions that people actually eat – so consumers get a more reasonable idea of the calories they're eating.

"A serving size on the label is quite different than normal portions we as Americans usually eat," Reid Lancaster with Complete Nutrition said. "This will make it more honest."

Lancaster says the labels gives measurements that no one really follows. For example, a serving size of ice cream is half a cup. The FDA wants to change it to a full cup, a more realistic representation of what people normally eat. The label would then reflect the nutritional value and calories of the larger serving size to show what you're really eating.

Soda would also be changed. The serving size and calories are based on eight ounces, but people usually drink an entire 20 ounce bottle of soda. The serving size would be changed to a full bottle.

On Thursday the Grocery Manufacturers Association says it is time for some label changes, but added they should be "based on the most current and reliable science."

People in the health industry like Lancaster also say the change is overdue. "This is going to explain it quicker, more clearly, and allow people to make more health conscience decisions," Lancaster said.

The proposed changes will go through a 90 day comment period by the FDA. The companies would then have two years to comply with the new changes that are passed.

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