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May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016

Statement by Dr. Lynn Silver, Director, California Project LEAN

Now people will be able to see the sugar and calorie bomb in a big soda!

Access to nutrition information in restaurants is improving with national implementation of menu labeling.  Now consumers will soon have access to better information on nutrition, on food products in grocery stores, and at home as well.  The sugar bomb in a soda bottle will be far more obvious, for example. California Project LEAN applauds the recent announcement by the FDA and First Lady Michelle Obama of changes in the Nutrition Facts Panels, found on over 800,000 food products and used by three quarters of U.S. adults.

The new labels respond to the understanding that too many of our processed foods contain too much sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, or too many calories.

A major change is that the labels will specify how much added sugar is in a product, in accordance with U.S. and international recommendations to reduce added sugar.  It will also require information on potassium, important for maintaining normal blood pressure in conjunction with keeping salt lower, and for people with certain illnesses, as well as Vitamin D.  The new format will make it easier for consumers to interpret the information, by highlighting calorie counts, serving size, and number of servings per container more prominently.  Serving size information will be more realistic and certain products will have both serving size and whole package information.  For example, for a bottle of soda that is 20 ounces, the serving size will be the whole bottle, which is more realistic.  One disappointment was that the FDA is not including the requirement to express added sugar in teaspoons, which would have been easier for consumers to understand, and which many organizations supported.  Compliance with the new labels will be mandatory in two years.


Click here for the 2016 Training and Technical Assistance Catalog

About California Project LEAN
California Project LEAN, a program of the Public Health Institute, works to advance nutrition and physical activity policy in schools and communities in order to prevent obesity and its associated chronic diseases. California Project LEAN efforts center on youth, parent and resident empowerment approaches, Policy and Environmental change Strategies (PSE), and community-based solutions that improve nutrition and physical activity environments. For more information, go to www.CaliforniaProjectLEAN.org.
About the Public Health Institute
The Public Health Institute, an independent nonprofit organization, is dedicated to promoting health, well-being and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. For more information, go to www.phi.org.