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August 9, 2016

The Revised Nutrition Facts LabelA Step Forward and More Room for Improvement

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2016;316(6):583-584. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.8005

As the obesity epidemic continues unabated in the United States, costing more than $190 billion per year in health care expenditures,1 a public health crisis is unfolding that warrants careful reevaluation of existing policies to combat obesity and related chronic diseases. Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the first major amendment of the Nutrition Facts Label in more than 2 decades, to be implemented in the next 2 to 3 years, to reflect the evolving evidence related to dietary factors and risk of chronic diseases. The collective changes update the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared, provide reference Daily Values based on current dietary recommendations or consensus reports, adjust serving sizes and labeling requirements for certain package sizes, and revise the overall format and appearance of the label for enhanced interpretability.2

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