The answer to when will the new Nutrition Facts panel go into effect, is WHO KNOWS! Based on information released this week by the FDA, the mandated date for the new labels has been delayed from July 2018 to literally, who knows. A new date has not been established. This is due to some push back from some companies that have said they would have a hard time being ready by July 2018.
We were at the beach last week with our family and we were noticing that some products we had ( chips!!! ) were already using the new label. From now until, who knows, you are quite likely to see both nutrition labels on products which can cause some confusion.
What are the differences between the new and old labels?
The calories on the new labels are bigger, bolder, and easier to see.
The serving size is now based on what one might normally consume. I am not quite sure how this average intake was determined but I still think this may be better than the "standard servings" on the old labels. On the other hand, the average intake of a particular food may not necessarily be the healthiest amount of food for someone to eat as our "average intake" has increased.
The line for added sugars is my very favorite of all of the changes. First of all, sugar occurs naturally in milk and in fruit so when you look at the old labels for sugar, I would see people be alarmed. You have to think twice about what you are eating and if you are eating fruit yogurt for example, the grams of sugar are not all added sugar. The new labels differentiate "added sugars" which really helps you to know exactly that, how much was added. Keep in mind men should limit intake to 9 9 teaspoons of sugar per day or less, and women no more than 6 teaspoons per day.
The nutrients that were thought to be the most likely to be at risk for the general population in the past were Vitamin A, C, Iron, and Calcium. They were highlighted at the bottom of the label and each label indicated the percent daily value each serving would provide based on a 2000 calorie diet to which I say --BORING! I am sorry, but I don't do a ton of math, based on percentages, based on a 2000 calorie diet which only works for those on a 2000 calorie diet. I always found those numbers pretty useless.. However, the new labels highlight the nutrients of most concern today, Vitamin D, potassium, and still iron and calcium. And while they still use the percent daily value which I still find useless, they now indicate the amount of each nutrient instead of just using percentages, which I find very useful if I am wanting to know these amounts.
All in all, the new labels are great and I look forward to every food product using the new label format. I would love to know what you like to look at on the food labels and what confuses you or helps you.