For the first time in 21 years, the FDA-mandated nutritional information labels on consumer foods may soon get a major updating, because you're all fatty-fat fats, and you really need to pay attention to these goddamn things, people.
According to Politico, the White House will announce the changes on Thursday, the fourth anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign, "to help parents and other consumers make healthier choices." Sources indicate the changes will reflect Americans' nascent culture of gorging themselves stupid on maw-watering crap until everything hurts and their capillaries are filled with artificially chipotle ranch-flavored partially hydrogenated soybean oil:
The government is largely playing catch-up as the nation's eating habits, food trends and advancements in obesity research have evolved since 1993, when food labels bearing basic calorie counts and fat grams became standard. The new labels will likely make calories more prominent, differentiate between natural and added sugars and make serving sizes more realistic.
"There wasn't much supersizing 20 years ago," Walter Willett, the nutrition department chairman at Harvard University's School of Public Health in Boston, said in a telephone interview. "The world is changing about us and the nutrition facts panel hasn't kept up."
There have been minor labeling tweaks along the way, such as the FDA's 2003 move to include trans fat content in nutritional info, but this is the first anticipated major change since 1993.
It's unclear at current just how hard food-producing profit machines will fight new labeling standards. Regina Hildwine, "senior director of science policy and labeling and standards at the Grocery Manufacturers Association," told Politico: "Everyone in the industry is going to be affected. Everyone in the industry is going to have to change their labels. It's a very big deal. It's very expensive."
Because that's what a director of science policy and labeling and standards ought to do: Remind everyone how expensive it is to have labeling and standards based on science and policy. Health consciousness and informed consent cost good money! Let's not rush into these things. Perhaps we can discuss it over a bag of Skittles—or, according to my bag of Skittles, 541 recommended servings of Skittles.
[Photo credit: AP]