200-300 words will be enough

Read the question in the blow:

Complete 1 thru 6 below (about 7 minutes in viewing videos/reading article) in addition to reading sections 2.4 and 2.5 in your text or eText. The eText is better for these particular sections since the pictures may seem more clear. Once you have done so, see the questions at the bottom for your response.

1) Read all of Section 2.5 in the text, including Figure 2.11, Interpreting the current and proposed Nutrition Facts panel as well as looking at Table 2.5, Descriptors Commonly Used on Food Labels and Figure 2.14 Health Claims on Labels. For those of you with a physical text, these are pages 51-59.

For the first time since the mid-90s, the Federal government has changed the Nutrition Facts Label on food products.

2) For background, please view the following from 2014:

3) As you have read in Chapter 2, the nutrition facts panel can be fairly complex if not used routinely.

Besides having to indicate the serving size and calories, which does not always convey what is inside of one small package (because a bag of chips can have 2.5 servings, for example), some of the current rules which apply include labeling a food item as “fat-free” even if there is half a gram in the product. The same is true for sugars (0.5 grams can be rounded down to zero for a label!). In addition, a “lowfat” can have up to 3 grams of fat by labeling requirements. Also, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron and Calcium amounts (DV’s) must be included for the label. The Daily Value (DV) is used to compare products based on a 2000 calorie-a-day (or 2500) diet. They are hoping the changes that will make the label more “user-friendly.”

4) Read Section 2.4 in your text. To give you a real-life idea of serving sizes, watch these 3, 90 second videos:

5) View this Video Bite 3 minute video. Incidentally, these videos are quite cute because they always include an amusing skit by actors depicting our real lives.

These changes to serving size may or may not be the right choice. Increasing the serving size may make us eat more and not less since the package may in fact have more in a serving. For example, if the serving had been half a cup of granola cereal, and they make it one cup because it is easier for consumers to understand one cup (8ounces), then if a package contains two cups, you may be having twice as much as you did before the change because the package is bigger and dthe previous serving size was half a cup (or even in some cases with granola in particular, a quarter cup! when the granola is quite dense). Americans must understand serving sizes and calories in a serving or this change in packaging may do more harm than good.

6) An interesting and puzzling update to the news regarding release of the new nutrition labels (as well as a link about postsponing required menu labeling); though from what I understand, all “new” labels should be on on products by the end of 2018:

For this discussion, tell us what you think about the future nutrition label and nutrition facts panel by choosing any of the points below or make your own (pick one or two for discussion, you do not need to answer all, they are just a guideline to discussion); expand on those you find of most interest or perhaps an observation not listed):

  • Do you think the new label will be of benefit? Will you look any more closely at nutrition labels?
  • Do you think the changes to serving sizes will be helpful overall?
  • Do you think people understand what serving size means or even know what a cup is anyway?
  • What information do you now find most useful?
  • What information do you think is understandable as it is now and do you think the new label will be better, worse or confusing?
  • What do you think of the changes?
  • What is your opinion about the delay in the changes to the food label? (some companies do now have the new labels but many do not)
  • Has learning about the nutrition label made you any more likely to use it or show family members with regard to serving sizes, portions, ingredients or other nutrition information?
  • Do you think people understand Daily Value? What is Daily Value?
  • Do you think people realize that what they eat has a certain percentage of fats, carbs and proteins in a serving (which you have/are learning how to calculate) and how that one serving contributes to the entire intake of foods per day (which you also can now calculate the Daily Value knowing recommendations on a 2000 calorie-a-day-diet).
  • Do you think people will use the label in such a way to help meet their daily recommended dietary intakes? If not, how would you get people to pay attention to nutrition labels and/or understand that what they eat is contributing to their dietary reference intakes for the day (DRIs) using MyPlate (to put Dietary Guidelines for Americans into practice).
  • How would you get people to learn about MyPlate and its relationship to the scientific data which tells us how much we should have of nutrients (Appendix tables) and ultimately the nutrition labels plays a part in telling us what nutrient components a food contains?
  • Will having learned more about the nutrition label help you to pay attention to serving sizes? Will you be more inclined to track your diet using a Diet Analysis Program? Did you know you could look up any one food by going to the USDA Nutrient Information Database? (https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/)
 
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