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The Nutrition Fact Label

The quickest way to find out whether your favorite food fits into a healthy diet is to check out the Nutrition Facts on the container, package or bottle. Calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium and carbohydrates are all spelled out on the panel and more helpful nutrition information is coming down the pipeline.

One of the most important parts of the label is right at the top—the serving size. Read the information carefully to make sure you're clear on what it is. For example, a 20-ounce soft drink is actually two and a half servings. Meanwhile, the nutrition information that's provided is for a single eight-ounce serving. That means you'll have to do some math to figure out total calories etc.

Nutritional Face Lift

The government has big changes in the works for the nutrition label. First off, by January 2006, consumers will be able to find trans fat information on the panel (right under saturated fat.) Adding trans fat was the first significant change to the Nutrition Facts Label since it was created in 1993.

But that's not all. The Food and Drug Administration, which is leading the government's efforts on obesity, wants to use the label to emphasize its message that calories count.

"We will soon propose a new labeling initiative that puts primary emphasis on calories—a larger type size for calories, daily value for calories, and total calories per serving size," Acting FDA Commissioner Les Crawford told FoodFit founder and CEO Ellen Haas in a recent interview.

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 Talk About It:

Do you read the nutrition label when purchasing food? Do you think the serving sizes are realistic?


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