On March 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched “The New Nutrition Facts Label: What’s in it for You?” education campaign to raise awareness about the changes to the Nutrition Facts label. This first major update of the label in over 20 years is based on new scientific information, including the link between nutrition and chronic diseases like heart disease and certain cancers. The new label also better reflects the amount people typically eat and drink today. The refreshed design and updated information will help make it easier to make informed food choices that contribute to lifelong healthy eating habits. Major changes to the label include:
- Serving Sizes: now appear in larger, bold font. Serving sizes have also been updated to better reflect the amount people typically eat and drink today. A reminder that serving sizes are not a recommendation of how much to eat.
- Calories: now displayed in larger, bolder font to make the information easier to find and use.
- Nutrients: vitamin D and potassium are now required to be listed on the label. Calcium and iron will continue to be listed on the label, but vitamins A and C are no longer required since deficiencies of these vitamins are rare.
- Added sugars: have been added to the label and must be listed in grams and as % Daily Value, in most cases.
- % Daily Value: shows how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a total daily diet. Daily values have been updated, which may make the % Daily Value higher or lower on the new Nutrition Facts label.
The education campaign includes a wide-range of materials for consumers, health care professionals, and educators, including downloadable educational materials, continuing medical education videos, and nutrition-based middle and high school curriculums. Health educators may be particularly interested in the Read the Label Youth Outreach Materials ,the Health Educator’s Nutrition Toolkit, and the Interactive Nutrition Facts label
- Read the Label Youth Outreach Materials: A portfolio of materials aimed at reaching kids (ages 9 to 13 years) and families to encourage the use of the Nutrition Facts label as an everyday tool for making smart and healthful food choices. It includes a customizable PowerPoint presentation with talking points, tips, handouts, and printable hands-on activities to help families learn how to look for and use the Nutrition Facts label. These materials are also available in Spanish.
- Health Educator’s Nutrition Toolkit: A resource to help educators teach consumers about the Nutrition Facts label and how to use the information to make healthier food choices. This toolkit offers a wide range of resources, including realistic tips on how to shop for and prepare food as well as order food when eating out to build a healthy diet. A 60-minute PowerPoint presentation and an accompanying pre- and post-test are also included in the toolkit and can be customized for the needs of specific audiences.
- The Interactive Nutrition Facts Label: An online tool that provides an overview of the label and each of its elements as well as an in-depth look at specific nutrients and their role in a healthy diet. Action steps are also provided throughout to help individuals make informed nutrition choices. Printable fact sheets can be downloaded individually or as an entire set.
You can use these materials to increase awareness, understanding, and use of the updated Nutrition Facts label. Help spread the word about the campaign, and the many educational resources, by using the Social Media Toolkit, which includes newsletter text, social media posts, videos, downloadable images, and fact sheets.