Thursday, October 20, 2011

Should the Federal Government Develop a New Nutritional Rating System for Food and Beverages?

Yes, according to a new government committee report.
Federal agencies should develop a new nutrition rating system with symbols to display on the front of food and beverage packaging that graphically convey calorie counts by serving size and a "point" value showing whether the saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars in the products are below threshold levels.This new front-of-package system should apply to all foods and beverages and replace any other symbols currently being used on the front of packaging, added the committee that wrote the report.

"Our report offers a path to develop an Energy Star® equivalent for foods and beverages," said committee chair Ellen Wartella, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Communication, professor of psychology, and director, Center on Media and Human Development, School of Communication, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill."A successful front-of-package nutrition rating system would enable shoppers to instantly recognize healthier products by their number of points and calorie information.It would encourage food and beverage producers to develop healthier fare and consumers to purchase products that are lower in calories and food components that contribute to chronic disease."
I have to admit I don't like the government spending money needlessly, but the current nutrition labels are hard to read and I use a computer program ( to help wade through them.

Easily understood graphics would help you choose foods and beverages in a more expeditious manner.

Now, as to restaurants - can there not be some voluntary compliance?

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