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FDA Pushes For More Realistic Serving Sizes On Food Labeling
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FDA Pushes for More Realistic Serving Sizes on Food Labeling

Start a new diet or consult a nutritionist and the first thing you will hear is to start reading labels and to stick to the serving sizes. However, the Food and Drug Administration is now pushing US food makers to use a more updated and realistic serving size when they calculate information for packaging. The FDA is now asking that this information be based on what a person would actually consume rather than what the label states. Consumer groups and critics of the current labeling are in agreement with the FDA saying that the current labels have not been changed since the 1970's.

A survey completed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest has come up with the list of what is being called the worst offenders in this regard. Number one on the list is canned soup. The typical can of soup bears a label with calorie count and sodium content for what is deemed a serving, in this case, one cup or about half of the can. According to that survey, however, very few people actually eat that limited amount of soup, opting instead for eating the whole can. For a person who is watching their sodium intake, which would be about half or more of the US adult population, that can be especially troublesome. In the average can of soup, the sodium content is nearly eighty percent the amount that should be consumed for an entire day.

Another especially troublesome category is with the canned cooking sprays that advertise themselves as zero calories and zero fat. However, according to the consumer groups, the listed serving size for those cooking sprays is not for the average spray but rather for a "one quarter of a second burst", an amount that is humanly impossible to attain. A more realistic amount of that product lasts around six seconds and equals nearly fifty calories and just over six grams of fat.

Snack foods are a major problem with the current labeling according to food experts because it is a very rare person that actually follows the amount that is listed on the package. For example, a pint of ice cream is typically labeled as having four servings per container but most people eat the whole thing in one setting. Even convenience size bags of chips are often mistaken as single serve when in fact they are labeled as containing two or more servings.


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