General Question

jfos's avatar

Would you change the standard "Nutrition Facts" format? If so, how?

Asked by jfos (7380points) March 9th, 2010
11 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

As far as I know, there are two basic formats for the “Nutrition Facts” on food products. There is either the black and white box with Calories/Calories from fat, the listing of carbohydrates, sugars, saturated fat, sodium, etc., vitamins under that, and the ingredients at the bottom; OR if there is not enough room on the package, just text describing the same information.

If you could change something about the format, i.e. the layout, color, font, size, etc., what would you change? How would you have the information displayed?

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Answers

ZAGWRITER's avatar

How about we start with a portion size that most people eat? Half a cup of cereal isn’t enough for most. After that, I don’t care.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I would increase the font of the serving size and the servings per container.
I don’t mind the small portions. If you want to eat more you should recognize you are eating 2 or 3 sevings worth. Everyone should know what they are shoveling into their pie hole.

“Mmm. That pie was delicious. Only 300 calories per serving. Wait a minute! There are 8 servings in the pie and I ate half. I just pounded down 1200 calories! That is 3 hours of solid workout time. Damn. It was not worth it.”

TheThrelkeldKult's avatar

I’d elimiate it completely.

If you don’t have an intuitive sense of what’s healthy to eat you should leave the gene pool.

talljasperman's avatar

I would make standard mesurements… like every 100 grams or pound that same on smiliar products…I don’t like having to cross multiply every product to compare different weights

Ltryptophan's avatar

It should list the batch id where these facts were obtained. I am not sure how often a food must be checked to maintain it’s nutritional facts, but it would be nice to know the last time someone checked to make sure the random per serving amounts were close to what is on the nutritional label, and it would be nice to know the deviation.

maudie's avatar

I think nutritiondata.com has some of the greatest charts, graphs, and data about food I’ve seen anywhere (and I’ve looked at a lot because of chronic food-related auto-immune issues). I would love it if everything I ate had a nutrition label with this level of detail on it. In the absence of enough space on the food packaging or food itself (I’m imagining the difficulty of sticking all those graphs on an orange, here…), printing bar codes on food that you can scan with your mobile to pick up the complete set of nutrition data would be amazing.

gemiwing's avatar

I would change a few things. I would eliminate the per serving elimination rule where it has trans fat but says it’s trans fat free. I would disallow labeling saying something is dairy free when there is caesin. I would require all dried food to be labeled according to dry product (including pet food).

MagsRags's avatar

@maudie looks like an interesting site, thanks! I’d like an estimate of the percent of your daily calorie needs represented by one serving of the food. That could be a little challenging because men are different than women and active people are OK with more calories than sedentary people, but even a range would be great for perspective.

For example, a 32 oz Big Gulp has about 400 calories. For a sedentary woman of average height and weight, that represents about 25% of her daily caloric intake needed to maintain stable weight!

maudie's avatar

@MagsRags You know, I seem to remember nutrition labels in New Zealand that did something like what you’re saying… lemme see if I can get my girlfriend in NZ to take a picture of a label and send it over here.

maudie's avatar

Okay, follow up to my previous note: Here’s a photo of a New Zealand nutrition label, which indicates an approximate percentage of daily caloric intake would be comprised by a single serving:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11022872@N06/4423844392/

My Kiwi friend adds, “Just FYI: this sort of labelling is mandatory. Even international, imported foods, like umeboshi plums, have to carry it. Single serve cans of foreign soft drink have a NZ nutrition label stuck over the original. (This is not without controversy, however.)”

MagsRags's avatar

@maudie thanks for posting that. Yes, like that! It did take me a moment to realize that “energy” was there euphemistic way of naming it and I had to go to wikipedia to translate kilojoules into calories I think there have been so many different diet fads over the years that the whole idea that ultimately calories matter has gotten lost. Which is what leads folks on Low-Carb diets to feel virtuous eating a pound of bacon and sneer at the Low-Fat dieters eating an entire box of low fat cookies. They’re both missing the big picture.

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