Carolyn Bell, RDN – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
What’s the Right Portion?
“When I see the serving size on the label, should I eat this amount of food?” For example, on a box of graham crackers, the serving size listed on the package label is 2 sheets of crackers, and 130 calories. If you eat 4 sheets, this is 260 calories. The serving size and calories are placed on packaging to help guide buyers. You determine how many crackers to eat, not the box, or serving size listed. To make label reading easier, and to help consumers determine calories, there are new label laws going into effect in the next two-three years.
The new food labeling laws, which food manufacturers must have in place on products, by July 18, 2018 (companies with 10-million dollars in sales), and July 18, 2019 (companies with less than 10-million dollars in sales). One new food labeling law of importance, is food manufacturers are required to list serving sizes based on realistic serving sizes. For example, prior to this law, a 20-oz. soft drink label may show: “100 calories per serving, 2.5 servings per container”, which means there are 250 calories in the 20-oz. bottle of soft drink. With the new label law, the label must state the full calories up front, for example: “250 calories per serving, 1 serving per container”.