For consumers who are dieting or simply want to maintain good health, reading nutrition labels can be like reading something in an unfamiliar language. While we’ve all been warned repeatedly to reduce sodium intake and limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats, it just isn’t that easy. Labels often contain wording that most people simply don’t understand, making it impossible for consumers to know just how much they’re really eating.
Limiting the intake of saturated fats and added sugars requires at least a basic knowledge about these substances. The FDA is now attempting to revise labels so that consumers will be able to read and understand them, and marketers will have a harder time deceiving them in terms of making consumers believe they’re eating less than they actually are.
According to some sources, the new labels would require nutrition facts to be presented in a way that means something to the average consumer – for instance, serving sizes would be presented in a measure everyone understands, such as “cup” rather than ounces. Additionally, snack products such as soft drinks and small bags (e.g. 2 oz.) of potato chips should be labeled as one serving rather than one-and-a-half or two, because of the fact that most people consume the drink or chips in one sitting.
Another problem with foods and drinks is that they’re sometimes marketed as “healthy,” when in fact they’re “sugar bombs” as one website put it. A couple of examples of this type of marketing relates to fruit juice boxes and smoothies, often advertised as “healthy” but in many cases anything but.
Many believe curbing predatory junk food marketing, serving size control, and calorie restriction is something that while currently recognized as extremely important, is far from being resolved. Obesity is a huge problem in our country, however consumers are becoming more aware of marketing ploys and therefore trying to figure out what those nutrition and ingredient labels really say. Hopefully the FDA will come up with a solution that enables consumers to really know what they’re eating.
At REA JET we understand the importance of transparency in food labeling, and know that many companies have already made progress toward clean, honest labeling. For all of your coding and marking needs, we provide reliable, cost-effective solutions including inkjet printers, laser systems, spray mark systems, SMARKTEC, and more.