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These countries are doing nutrition labels the right way

Washington Post

By Christina A. Roberto, Alyssa Moran and Kelly Brownell

“The system of food labeling in the United States does not make it easy for consumers trying to assess the nutritional value of the foods they buy. Now, the Food and Drug Administration can do something about it.

More than 40 countries have adopted easy-to-understand, front-of-package nutrition information showing, at a glance, which foods are more — or less — healthful. Thus far, the United States has not required front-of-package labeling, relying instead on the food industry’s voluntary efforts, laden with confusing numbers and percentages. Compare that with the “excess sugar” stop signs you’ll see in Mexico, the Nutri-Score system used in France, or the Health Star Ratings in New Zealand.

Only recently did the idea of a mandated,government-sponsored label gain traction in the United States. Last year, the FDA announced it would undertake consumer research on the topic, with the intent to issue a proposed rule in June. That could mean a shift to the kind of intuitive labeling that signals immediately whether a product contains ingredients you would prefer to avoid.”

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