More on the Nutrition Facts Label

Some good information–just not enough.  The first line of the Nutrition Facts label lists the Serving Size upon which all the following calories and nutrient contributions are based.  For example, during the Christmas Season a popular beverage is eggnog.  As I read the label on one container, I assumed that it would be rather high in calories.  So I first read the calorie entry which read 220 calories–not too bad I thought as I assumed that it was referring to a serving size of 8 oz-240 ml, 1 cup, common for milk and a number of other beverages.  But then I noticed that the Serving Size was given as 1/2 cup.  And so this reminded me how important the Serving Size is as we compare foods and read labels.

What would be some welcome additions to the Nutrition Facts Label?  Potassium, which a few food companies are now including, although it is not now required on the label.  Because potassium is often limiting in our diets (as emphasized by the recent Dietary Guidelines-2015), it would be a welcome addition.  And as noted in a separate blog, added sugars on a separate line from total sugars (which is now listed),  would remind food companies that we can see how much sugar they are adding.  But to list a nutrient on the label is in effect to guarantee that concentration, so food companies are reluctant to add more nutrients to the label, especially when they are not required to do so.


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