FDA and Moochie Roll Out New Food Labels

Obama is into the bathroom habits of Americans while Michelle (Michael) is into the kitchen environment affecting American’s eating habits, especially where children are concerned in both cases.  It isn’t bad enough that Moochie’s school lunch program guidelines have left many children deficient in nutrition, hungry due to the food being unpalatable, and vomiting from looking at “brown mush” on a plate that a dog would not eat.  Now, Moochie, in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has rolled out the first major change to food label requirements in over 20 years.

The major question American’s should ask themselves is, “Where and when did Moochie obtain a degree in nutrition or dietary sciences?”

According to Randy DeSoto writing for Western Journalism:

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The significant changes include increasing the print size, requiring food producers to include “added sugar,” and adjusting the “serving size” listed “to better align with the amount consumers actually eat.”

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The new labels will also include both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information.

Further, companies are no longer required to place the amount of vitamin C or vitamin A, because deficiencies in either are very rare among Americans. However, vitamin D and potassium have been added to the nutrients that must be shown.

As many know, the percentage of adults considered obese or overweight amounts to roughly 66% of the population, with more than a third considered obese.  The medical profession has cautioned the public about the rates of obesity and being overweight because of the resulting health problems that can occur with increasing weight, i.e., high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and liver and kidney dysfunction.  Likewise, dieticians and nutritionists have encouraged individuals to “read the label” on food products to determine which foods are healthy or unhealthy in order to promote good nutrition and optimum weight.

However, as the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water;  but, you can’t make him drink.”

One of the significant changes is to have the label indicate added ingredients, especially sugar.  As incidences of diabetes increase in the population, it is important to know when a company adds additional sugar to the contents.  The best one intervention individuals can do is to eat fresh produce, avoiding the processing, garnered from growing your own or purchasing locally from a farmer or farmer’s market.  For seasonal items one might want to consume out of season, home canning and/or freezing is an option.

Moochie and the FDA will require processors to adjust the serving size “to better align with the amount consumers actually eat” and include caloric and nutritional information “per package” as well as “per serving.”  Well, that really helps considering the reason many individuals are overweight and/or obese is due to over-eating – eating larger portions than recommended.  It does not help to increase the “serving size” to what consumers actually eat.  Who knows what consumers “actually” eat?  It’s a best guess situation, whereas, a static serving size of any food is based on dietary needs for proteins, minerals, fats, and carbohydrates following and individual’s caloric intake to maintain a healthy weight.

So, that 20 ounce soda indicating the bottle contains multiple servings will now have total calories for the entire soda and labeled as one serving since many individuals drink a 20 ounce soda in one sitting.  The same goes for a three-ounce bag of chips, where the actual serving size is one ounce or approximately 17 chips.  That pint of ice cream meant for individuals to eat one-half cup in four sittings will now have the total caloric intake for the entire pint.  Is it that hard for people to add, subtract, multiply and divide to figure out what is contained in an entire package?  Evidently.

The new labels add requirements for Vitamin D and Potassium nutrient information while removing the information for Vitamins A and C.  It is very rare in the united States for any individual to have deficiencies in either Vitamins A or C prompting the removal.

These changes were first proposed in 2014 in conjunction with Moochie’s “Let’s Move” campaign, targeted at addressing health issues and promoting a healthier lifestyle.

At the 2014 proposal announcement, Moochie said, “Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family.  So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”

Robert Califf, FDA Commissioner, stated on Friday at the roll out, “The updated label makes improvements to this valuable resource so consumers can make more informed food choices — one of the most important steps a person can take to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity.”

Not everyone is thrilled with the new labeling requirements.

As The Hill reports:

The Sugar Association has said a public health link between a nutrient and a disease and some sort of quantitative number that is based on science is needed to justify labeling decisions.

The FDA said it added the value after the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee issued a recommendation — now part of the final federal guidelines — that Americans limit their added sugar intake to less than 10 percent of their total daily calories. Critics say that amount was solely based on intake estimates and not sound science.

The average individual is not on a “specific” diet and rarely reads nutrition labels.  As a former registered nurse, it was evident clients did not read food labels.  When the individual had specific dietary needs and/or restrictions, clients still did not read food labels to know what a “best choice” would be much less what constituted a “better choice.”  Therefore, methods that are more creative were utilized in order to help clients meet dietary needs and abide by dietary restrictions.

Clients were told to use the “rainbow” to determine if dietary needs were being met.  In other words, clients were to eat a variety of food colors (green, red, yellow, orange) at each meal in addition to their meat for protein.  This is why serving size is important, especially when dealing with individuals who are diabetic.  Clients were encouraged to eat three average meals per day with three snacks, dividing their dietary needs across the entire day to promote healthy blood sugar levels and keep their metabolism functioning optimally.  If an individual needed a diet specific to a particular vitamin or nutrient, food colors were used along with a list of foods to help clients choose the best food based on budget to eat.  As always, fresh was a first choice, frozen second, and commercially canned last.  Processed food sources were discouraged.

Despite the best efforts of medical and dietary professionals, Americans, by and large, do not read labels nor are many going to start no matter what nutrition information the label contains or doesn’t contain.  Even in guiding clients to use their own hand and fist to measure foods to determine serving sizes, many Americans are still not going to engage in the simplest of interventions when it comes to diet and nutrition.  Moreover, being these new label changes are being promoted by Moochie, many Americans are even more likely to continue to ignore any and all labels.

In other words, the expense the FDA and Moochie are foisting upon food processors in the form of label changes mirrors the failed school lunch program changes recommended and championed by Moochie.  Both were unnecessary, promote waste, and provide a federal government “fix” to issues outside the authority of the federal government.  Nevertheless, the food industry is now stuck with the expense of changing labels very few Americans read.  One can bet that expense will be passed on to the consumer in higher prices.

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