Did you know there’s a new nutrition label coming to your foods? Last Friday, Michele Obama unveiled the new FDA logo explaining that the new design will be easier to read and understand.
“The calorie count is bigger—a bigger font—so you can actually see it,” said Obama.
But as The Atlantic’s James Hamblin discusses in today’s article, I’m not sure the change is for the better.
Hamblin makes three points that are worth thinking about:
- Will encouraging people to understand the calories in their food help them lose weight and live healthier lifestyles? Research and my personal experience tell me probably not. When food is about numbers, we’re missing the point.
- Sugar is sugar. While knowing the type of sugar your ingesting (for example, sugarcane vs. honey) may be helpful, one is not noticeably superior in nutrition to the other. Check out the juice example in the article.
- We obsess over origins of a particular product instead of the product itself. What is the difference between Goldfish crackers and Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies? One might be made with some organic ingredients. But they’re both still processed cheese crackers with similar nutrition content.
No doubt calorie labels will continue to evolve as our food obsessions, fears and diets evolve. Until then, I’ll take a cue from Hamblin and “prioritize foods that don’t come with nutrition labels.”