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Nutrition Labels In For A Change

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By Stephanie Mead

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Nutrition labels on everyday foods are in for a makeover, leaving consumers a little more aware of what they're eating.

It’s been 20 years since the Food and Drug Administration changed the labels on food, but according to FDA officials, consumers are more aware of what to look for on the labels.

The FDA is proposing a new rule that would require manufactures to place a bigger emphasis on total calories, added sugars and certain nutrients, such as Vitamin D and potassium.

For health conscious consumers, this could only be a good thing, according to Curves manager Elaine Clayborn.

"I really think with obesity being so high, the food industry does need to help people because there are people, especially younger adults, that don't stop and take things into account. They just want to eat," she points out.

A study done by the USDA showed 42% of working-age adults between 29 and 68 looked at these labels most or all of the time when shopping.

57% of Americans older than 68 did, as well.

That's up from 2007, when 34% of working-age adults looked at the label, and 51% of Americans older than 68 did.

Curves coach Monica Gardner thinks that some of the customers pay attention and some don't.

"I think there are some that do and some that don't. I think that it's kind of a large range in people that come in here, so we have some that are really self conscious and really know," she explains.

Although stores don't have products with the new labels, Gardner sees the revamp as a huge benefit.

"I think it's a huge benefit, just picking it up. A lot of them have it on the front now, which is a big deal because it's there and visible, and you don't even have to turn and look at the back," she says.

Making calorie counting a little easier for consumers.

The FDA has opened a 90-day comment period for experts and members of the public to provide input on the proposed rules.

The FDA will issue a final rule hope to complete the process this year.


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