3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
3

Re-Invent the Nutrition Facts Label

by (26182)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created July 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM

The nutrition facts label and the recommended dietary allowance labels are extremely beneficial. The problem is, especially in this community, they do not accurately represent modern understanding of health (300g of carbs with at least 24 being Fiber per day?).

So my challenege to the community. If we could re-invent the Nutrition Facts Label. What would you include? What would be the exceedances? Let's stick to the 2000 kCal/day model for the purposes of normalization.

I'll throw out my initial thoughts -- 20% Carbs, 30% Protein, 50% Fat -- That would put us at:

100g Carbs/ day 150g Protein/ day 112g Fat/ day

other thoughts?

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056
384 · July 28, 2012 at 7:47 PM

There isn't a magic ratio that works for everyone. Some people require more fat, less protein, others require more carbs and more protein. Calculations should be done on an individual level. A better solution would be a QR/Code or Near Field tech that allowed for interactive nutrition labels based on a persons current requirements.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3
1032 · July 13, 2012 at 10:45 PM

They are looking at introducing that traffic light system in Australia, but as you said, it's based on CW, so obviously wholegrain breads and pastas would get a 'green light', while pork ribs would get a 'amber light' at best. And I don't see there being any difference between whether the meat is organic or factory raised.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3
1032 · July 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I'd also like to see o3/o6 info on there. In Australia there doesn't seem to be a set standard for nutrition info labels. On some foods I see it broken down really well with all different types of fat, on others, it says out of 100g, 50g is PUSF, but doesn't say what the other 50% is. And sugar breakdown would be great too. Or if there is any added cane sugar.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3
1032 · July 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Yeh I'm not talking about common allergies, I'm talking about preservatives, artificial flavourings and colours. Things that will be overlooked by 99% of the population. Instead of meaningless 'preservative 211,349,209,642' etc. That just confuses people. Another thing I'd like to see in an ideal world would be labels saying something IS NOT certified organic, rather than the other way around. Wouldn't it be great if supermarkets were held to account on the meat they stock, imagine picking up a piece of steak that is labeled, 'grain-fed, antibiotics and hormones may have been used.' :)

74b00bbfe9ba0f647bb154ed5f923cb4
156 · July 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM

@CD: I've never seen an apple with a food label on it, but if you have a calculator with you (and with smart phones, who won't these days) you can always take your food's weight and divide it by 100 and multiply with the amount of whatever nutrient you want to get the amount for the item you have. Serving sizes are typically never the whole product you're buying anyway, things typically have like 3-5 servings in them, meaning you have to do math to figure it out anyway.

74b00bbfe9ba0f647bb154ed5f923cb4
156 · July 13, 2012 at 7:11 PM

@MathGirl72: At least I can do that with foods here... if people can't even do that simple math, what would food labels help anyway? :P

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349
2954 · July 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM

But since they want to kill us all, none of this matters anyway :-D

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 4:34 PM

anything with a label does -- or is required to by FALPCA -- "If it is not a raw agricultural commodity and it is, or it contains an ingredient that bears or contains, a major food allergen" qq) The term `major food allergen' means any of the following: ``(1) Milk, egg, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, or cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, or walnuts), wheat, peanuts, and soybeans. ``(2) A food ingredient that http://www.fda.gov/food/labelingnutrition/FoodAllergensLabeling/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm106187.htm

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41528 · July 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM

You're not close enough to the source then. Straight from the farmer, I bet he doesn't stick everything with a nutrition facts label!

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23
11048 · July 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

@Alex: I wish it was that simple to assume that, if the amount is 100g and fat is 20g, people would automatically know it was 20%. It would make my job sooooo much easier!

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23
11048 · July 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Preservatives should be included. And, no, not everything contains wheat/dairy/nut warnings.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23
11048 · July 13, 2012 at 2:56 PM

CD, I also live in the US and can assure you that not everything has a label. It is possible to find the nutrition data, usually through an internet search, but even that produces varied results.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:58 PM

no, I appreciate the knowledge. The Whole Foods in VA do, so it must be a local law? I assumed it was everywhere... Thanks!

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb
3450 · July 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

You'll never get an accurate nutrition label in the US, because corporate interest yield too much influence with the government. That's why products can claim 0 trans-fats while still containing trans-fats. The best we can probably hope for is an independent source (like a wikipedia for nutrition data) that will allow people to look up accurate info.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
7292 · July 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I am not arguing with you but Federal Laws do not require single ingredient foods to have a label.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
7292 · July 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Not all states have the same laws. I bought it from Whole foods in Boulder, CO.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Do you live in the US? I do, and we have nutrition labels on everything -- or at least near it. I.e. the asparagus I bought last night had a label just next to the price tag. Even the farmers markets have them.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Amen! One of the things I hate is that the producers start to "game the system".

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
7292 · July 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM

They have nutrition data, but no label. I assure you I bought both last night. I do think information should be put there, but not so much recommendation for %'s. Give detailed info and let people decide.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I have seen similar label systems. Then you get an apple which is 2.127 servings with 20g per 100g. Rather than saying the serving size is one apple with 20g

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM

What specifically would you like to see warnings about? Trans Fats -- already there Wheat/Dairy/Nut warnings already there What else?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Broccoli and Bison both have nutrition labels (sure, only one ingredient, but there is still nutrition data). I agree that accurate information is primary. But we must build tools for the masses, not the elite. Do you then disagree that having a standard practice (by which you can deliberately diverge) helps the average consumer?

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e
13635 · July 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I agree with your view on serving size. Proper daily allowances and serving size are all subjective. I want just facts.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Around here all items for sale have nutrition labels. That includes produce/ eggs/ meat/ etc. So it is not accurate to assume that labels are only on a box, can, or bag. Thanks for the answer

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
7292 · July 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

True. Everyone wants a formula but there are too many variables

  • Total Views
    932
  • Recent Activity
    2f030cebef865c1b65aea7bc812fbb03
  • Last Activity
    92D AGO
  • Followers
    1

Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

10 Answers

best answer

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3
1
1032 · July 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I'd like to see artificial additive warning labels, something that tells people that a product contains garbage that might kill you.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM

What specifically would you like to see warnings about? Trans Fats -- already there Wheat/Dairy/Nut warnings already there What else?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23
11048 · July 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Preservatives should be included. And, no, not everything contains wheat/dairy/nut warnings.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3
1032 · July 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Yeh I'm not talking about common allergies, I'm talking about preservatives, artificial flavourings and colours. Things that will be overlooked by 99% of the population. Instead of meaningless 'preservative 211,349,209,642' etc. That just confuses people. Another thing I'd like to see in an ideal world would be labels saying something IS NOT certified organic, rather than the other way around. Wouldn't it be great if supermarkets were held to account on the meat they stock, imagine picking up a piece of steak that is labeled, 'grain-fed, antibiotics and hormones may have been used.' :)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 4:34 PM

anything with a label does -- or is required to by FALPCA -- "If it is not a raw agricultural commodity and it is, or it contains an ingredient that bears or contains, a major food allergen" qq) The term `major food allergen' means any of the following: ``(1) Milk, egg, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, or cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, or walnuts), wheat, peanuts, and soybeans. ``(2) A food ingredient that http://www.fda.gov/food/labelingnutrition/FoodAllergensLabeling/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm106187.htm

74b00bbfe9ba0f647bb154ed5f923cb4
3
156 · July 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

In my opinion, the US nutritional label needs a few adjustments.

First of all, the "serving size" should be replaced with a set number. In Norway, where I'm from, nutritional information is always listed as per 100g. It's a good choice, because all numbers then represent percentages. If a food has 20g fat listed, you instantly know the food is 20% fat. It also limits the cheating manufacturers can do, such as listing < 0.5 g of trans fat as 0 g trans fat, a trick they can easily perform by controlling serving sizes.

Next, list mono and polyunsaturated fats in addition to the saturated and trans. Ideally, split into o3/o6 as well. It'd also be nice if sugar was split into sucrose/glucose/fructose/others also. (Getting a little crowded now, though.)

Finally, as OP said, fix the RDA amounts. Although I find that less important than just having the information available.

I'm sure there's more that could be done as well, but that's what I've been thinking of mostly.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I have seen similar label systems. Then you get an apple which is 2.127 servings with 20g per 100g. Rather than saying the serving size is one apple with 20g

74b00bbfe9ba0f647bb154ed5f923cb4
156 · July 13, 2012 at 7:11 PM

@MathGirl72: At least I can do that with foods here... if people can't even do that simple math, what would food labels help anyway? :P

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e
13635 · July 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I agree with your view on serving size. Proper daily allowances and serving size are all subjective. I want just facts.

74b00bbfe9ba0f647bb154ed5f923cb4
156 · July 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM

@CD: I've never seen an apple with a food label on it, but if you have a calculator with you (and with smart phones, who won't these days) you can always take your food's weight and divide it by 100 and multiply with the amount of whatever nutrient you want to get the amount for the item you have. Serving sizes are typically never the whole product you're buying anyway, things typically have like 3-5 servings in them, meaning you have to do math to figure it out anyway.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb
3450 · July 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

You'll never get an accurate nutrition label in the US, because corporate interest yield too much influence with the government. That's why products can claim 0 trans-fats while still containing trans-fats. The best we can probably hope for is an independent source (like a wikipedia for nutrition data) that will allow people to look up accurate info.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23
11048 · July 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

@Alex: I wish it was that simple to assume that, if the amount is 100g and fat is 20g, people would automatically know it was 20%. It would make my job sooooo much easier!

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3
1032 · July 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I'd also like to see o3/o6 info on there. In Australia there doesn't seem to be a set standard for nutrition info labels. On some foods I see it broken down really well with all different types of fat, on others, it says out of 100g, 50g is PUSF, but doesn't say what the other 50% is. And sugar breakdown would be great too. Or if there is any added cane sugar.

E246df7366ba4b48f75b53378ed33282
2
424 · July 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Here in the UK some food manufacturers have a traffic light system on their food packaging (e.g. http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/responsibility/case-studies/archive/assault-on-salts/) - green for low/healthy, red for high/high probabilty of death on consumption.

While I don't agree with the nutritional science these recommendations are based on, I think the idea of something quick and visual on the packaging is a good one as most people don't bother or have the time to scrutinise the labels.

I'd support nutition data per 100g/ml alongside data per 'average serving' (although this wouldn't suit everyone), with some quick visual indicator to show whether the level of the 'nutrient' was relatively low, or high. I realise this could be seen as pretty arbitrary but I think having both figures and the info in simple layman's terms would cater for those who take a real interest in what they buy as well as those people who just give labels a cursory skim before they buy a product.

It's not ideal, but I don't think you could find a system that would suit everyone. I'm ambivalent about including percentages of daily intake as people's needs vary so greatly.

I think the main problem with current food labelling, especially labels which indicate how 'healthy' a foodstuff is, is that the nutritional science it's based on is so shaky. The food labels in my local supermarket make it look like you can live forever if you eat enough low fat soya oil spread but you'll keel over from instant arteriosclerosis if you go within twenty paces of a beef steak. It's madness.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Amen! One of the things I hate is that the producers start to "game the system".

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3
1032 · July 13, 2012 at 10:45 PM

They are looking at introducing that traffic light system in Australia, but as you said, it's based on CW, so obviously wholegrain breads and pastas would get a 'green light', while pork ribs would get a 'amber light' at best. And I don't see there being any difference between whether the meat is organic or factory raised.

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a
2
2799 · July 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
7292 · July 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

True. Everyone wants a formula but there are too many variables

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
2
41528 · July 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I'd prefer there be no nutrition facts labels, after all I prefer not to eat out of a box, can or bag!

But to answer the question, it gets confusing fast, because there are things you want to limit (trans fats, fructose), and things you'll want to maximize (vitamins, minerals). Others that most people would likely want to moderate (fats, starch, protein).

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Around here all items for sale have nutrition labels. That includes produce/ eggs/ meat/ etc. So it is not accurate to assume that labels are only on a box, can, or bag. Thanks for the answer

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41528 · July 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM

You're not close enough to the source then. Straight from the farmer, I bet he doesn't stick everything with a nutrition facts label!

537af33098ddcd2804245c43fe99756c
0
0 · June 11, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Plus the labels should mention any Genetically Modified Organisms present in the packaged food especially when derived from corn, soya, beets. I agree with the new nutrition facts you came up with.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349
0
2954 · July 13, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Good answers.

One thing I'd like to see is the vitamins and minerals most abundant in that particular item. Generally it only lists A, C, iron, and calcium.... even if it's zero for all of them ^^

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349
2954 · July 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM

But since they want to kill us all, none of this matters anyway :-D

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
0
7292 · July 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I agree that the label is not the best method, but I don't think doing a 20% carb, 30% protein, 50% recommendation would help, although that is pretty close to my own needs at more like 3000 kcal per day. Less active people might need less carbs and protein, more active my need more carbs, some people do well on almost no carbs, and some people do well on lots of carbs. Now with fat, not all fat is equal, so if people started getting 50% of their calories from fat, but most is from trans or even seed oils, then that would be awful. What we need is just an accurate breakdown of what is in a product, and stop the inaccurate information about what we need. Besides if we are buying healthy food, it seldom comes with a nutrition label anyway. When I buy broccoli or bison, no label on it, because it has one ingredient.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23
11048 · July 13, 2012 at 2:56 PM

CD, I also live in the US and can assure you that not everything has a label. It is possible to find the nutrition data, usually through an internet search, but even that produces varied results.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:58 PM

no, I appreciate the knowledge. The Whole Foods in VA do, so it must be a local law? I assumed it was everywhere... Thanks!

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
7292 · July 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Not all states have the same laws. I bought it from Whole foods in Boulder, CO.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Broccoli and Bison both have nutrition labels (sure, only one ingredient, but there is still nutrition data). I agree that accurate information is primary. But we must build tools for the masses, not the elite. Do you then disagree that having a standard practice (by which you can deliberately diverge) helps the average consumer?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
7292 · July 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM

They have nutrition data, but no label. I assure you I bought both last night. I do think information should be put there, but not so much recommendation for %'s. Give detailed info and let people decide.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · July 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Do you live in the US? I do, and we have nutrition labels on everything -- or at least near it. I.e. the asparagus I bought last night had a label just next to the price tag. Even the farmers markets have them.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
7292 · July 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I am not arguing with you but Federal Laws do not require single ingredient foods to have a label.

F8f38dfefde197df8ac1782ab6e65a60
0
220 · July 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Maybe a bit too much protein

2f030cebef865c1b65aea7bc812fbb03
-2
-6 · September 28, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Fantastic blog really! Please also read these articles, I think you'll like them. <SPAM link removed>

Can't just down vote them and let them get away with it. I STILL clicked their spam link! We need to use our freedom to edit those out by EDITING THEM OUT!

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account

Get Free Paleo Recipes