Illustration for article titled FDA adapts nutrition labels because “Americans are eating differently”
Image: FDA

Who among us has never lost control and consumed, say, an entire carton of ice cream or an entire bag of M&Ms even though the nutritional information label specifically says that said carton or bag contains two or three servings? (And, like, three servings in one of those little bags of M&Ms? Who do they think they’re kidding?) More accurately, who among us has never once intended on only eating the suggested serving size of any snack bag we’ve ever tore into? And who among us, after losing control, has not gone into a shame spiral and begun guiltily multiplying the numbers on the label in our heads to figure out exactly how many calories and grams of sugar and carbs and etc. we just consumed?

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Well, now we need torture ourselves no more. At least about the math part. The FDA has very kindly added a second column to the “Nutritional Facts” label that shows information for not just one serving but an entire package of food—but only if that package contains between two and three servings.

“We know that Americans are eating differently, and the amount of calories and nutrients on the label is required to reflect what people actually eat and drink – not a recommendation of what to eat or drink,” Claudine Kavanaugh, the FDA’s Director of the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, said in a statement.

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The new ruling went into effect January 1 for companies that have $10 million or more in annual sales. Companies that have less than $10 million have another year to get their act together.

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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