A Big Win For The Food Industry?
What was meant to be a key move in Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiative has once again been delayed.
For those looking to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle, food labels are a source of invaluable information. Sugar is something that we’re all wary of eating too much of, and taking a glance at a label can tell you just how much you’re eating. Well, it should – but it that’s not always the case. One of the oddities of American food labels is that the amount of added sugar in a product isn’t included. This means that the actual amount of sugar in a product and the amount listed on the label can differ wildly, resulting in a bit of a headache for consumers.
Hidden sugar in food
Sugar is one of the food groups that people are increasingly looking to reduce their intake of. Whether it’s to lose weight or to help children grow up as healthy as possible, cutting down on the sweet stuff is a no-brainer. The problem is that there is much more sugar present in the food that we buy than there was years ago. Things like sauces, refined carbohydrate products like bread, soft drinks and even foods that are marketed as ‘healthy’ all contain lots of sugar. So when you’re at the supermarket, checking the labels are a must if you want to make the healthiest choices.
The Obama administration wanted change
With the additional sugar in a product not being listed on a food label, it’s almost impossible to keep track of how much you are eating. In 2014, the Obama administration revealed plans to overhaul food labels. Championed by the then First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her healthy eating initiative, she said that: ‘You as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into a grocery store, pick an item off the shelf, and tell whether it’s good for your family’. Three years later, those proposed changes have still not been implemented.
Bowing down to pressure?
This year, the Food and Drug Administration announced that the new labels were being delayed, with no alternative date being given for their introduction. While there was no official statement on why the labels were not going to be changed after all, speculation is rife that the Food and Drug Administration had bowed to pressure from food companies. If all sugar in food had to be listed, companies would have a much harder time marketing their products as healthy rather than occasional treats. To put it simply, certain foods would look much less appealing. The FDA insists that the current system works well enough, but healthy eating campaigners insist the current labelling system puts Americans’ health at risk.
Transparency is vital
For label manufacturers on this side of the Atlantic, the food labelling row in America is a reminder of the importance of transparency on product labels. So if you’re bringing a food product to shop shelves, get in touch with us to help you create your labels. As well as extensive creative and technological resources at our disposal, we’ve also got experience of the industry and knowledge of all rules and regulations. So, when you hire us to create your custom food labels, you know that your customers will be satisfied.