New Nutrition Labels to be Unveiled Today

By CBS News

Published 02/27 2014 06:26AM

Updated 02/27 2014 05:48PM

WASHINGTON, DC -- The nutrition label on nearly every item you buy at the supermarket is about to change.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration unveiled two proposals this morning to update nutrition labels.  If approved, this would be the first overhaul of the labels in decades.  And official say the changes are badly needed. 

First Lady Michelle Obama will join officials from the Food And Drug Administration this morning to announce proposed changes to the labels on your favorite foods.

Here's what they look like now.  These labels have been around for decades.  Officials say they need an update to better reflect the way Americas eat.

The new labels would be easier to understand...And prominently display calorie counts with larger, bolder type.

They would also include:
- a list of nutrients most Americans should be consuming more of, like potassium.
- they'll include "added sugars" for the first time... Those put into food during processing.
- and the calories from fat label would be removed.
Something nutritionists have lobbied for in the past.

"I think they get very confused by the percent calories from fat.  I think just the total calories would be beneficial," believes Melanie Desapri, a registered dietitian with University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Another big change:  Serving sizes will get bigger.  Items such as 20-ounce sodas will become one serving to reflect how much Americans actually consume.

The changes are aimed at battling obesity,  soaring rates of diabetes, and increased risks for heart disease, cancer and stroke.

(Susan McGinnis,  CBS News)

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