Health Canada has set a 60-day period for consumers and stakeholders to provide feedback on the suggested changes.
In case you want to weigh in, here are five things you should know about the nutrition label’s potential makeover.
1. Standard Servings
The new label would require food manufacturers to make “serving sizes” consistent and have them better reflect the amount of food people actually eat. For example, a serving of bread would be set at two slices, since most people tend to eat two pieces of bread at one time.
2. List of Ingredients
Currently, ingredient lists are not always easy to find on a package, or easy to read. The recommendations would require ingredient lists to have a consistent look between products and to have: a separate title; minimum font size; black type (upper and lower case letters) on a white background; bullets to clearly separate ingredients; the entire list contained within an easy-to-see box.
3. Sugars Revealed
An updated nutrition facts label would help you more easily find “hidden” sources of sugar in prepared and packaged foods.
Currently, labels do not distinguish between added and naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in fruits, vegetables and unsweetened dairy products.
4. Overall Look
The new label would see a food’s calorie count be printed in bold, in a larger font size and moved to the top of the label.
In the upper half of the label, we would see nutrients that health experts recommend we consider limiting in our diet. These include fat, sodium and sugars. The lower half of the label would include nutrients we should aim to consume more of, including fiber, protein and iron.
Health Canada wants companies to list the amount of potassium and vitamin D in foods, since these are nutrients most of us should consume more of every day.
The agency also recommends striking vitamins A and C from the label because Canadians generally get enough of these nutrients.