Are Nutrition Labels Boring on Purpose?

Jan 27, 2011
Megan Bedard is a sucker for sustainable agriculture and a good farmers market, she likes writing about food almost as much as eating it.

In the next couple of months, figuring out the nutritional value of your food will be a little easier: you won't even need to flip over the box.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) will be unleashing new front-of-packaging labels that will tell customers how much saturated fat, sugar, calories, and sodium will end up in their guts if they eat what they're looking at.  (To be fair, there's space to list two good-for-you nutrients as well.)

Who knew that manufacturers were such benevolent guardians of our health?


But the subtle black-and-white design of the new icons, with every word written in capitals, may expose an ulterior motive: preempting colorful, eye-grabbing imagery initially proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA had wanted to rate foods with a red-light, yellow-light, green-light system, similar to the one used in the U.K.

Check out GOOD's article for more on why the GMA's graphics may not be worthy of full-on standing applause.

Image from Grocery Manufacturer's Association

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