FDA Proposing Food Label Changes

April 12, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. food label /fud ˈleɪhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngbəl/ (n. phrase) – a panel that contains information about the nutrient content of a food or drink product  
Example: The food label says that 26 grams of chips have 147 calories.

2. overlook /oʊhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngvərˈlʊk/ (v.) – to not notice a detail or fact
Example: The manufacturer overlooked a spelling error in the product’s label.

3. alternative /ɔlˈtɜrhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pnghttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngtɪv/ (adj.) – a second option or a replacement for something
Example:  An alternative plan is ready in case the first one fails.

4. comply /kəmˈplaɪ/ (v.) – to follow an order or to cooperate
Example: The companies complied with the new tax laws.

5. health-conscious /hɛlθ ˈkɒnhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngʃəs/ (adj.) – gives high importance to health
Example: My health-conscious friend loves eating vegetables.


Read the text below.
The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has proposed a change in the “Nutrition Facts” label of food and drink products in the U.S. 

This proposal is part of Let’s Move! initiative, a project headed by the U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama. The First Lady and the FDA hopes that the proposed changes in the food label will help people easily know and understand the nutrient content of the products they intend to buy.

One of the key changes in the label is the larger and bolder font of the product’s calorie content. This change would help make the calorie count more noticeable, as most consumers often overlook the number in the label. Instead of providing the ideal serving size, the new label will also include the amount that people actually consume.

In addition, the new label will have the amount of added sugars, which will help customers distinguish the amount of natural and additive sugars in products. The FDA also proposed an alternative label that groups the nutrients into three categories—‘Quick Facts,’ ‘Avoid Too Much,’ and ‘Get Enough.’

For 90 days, the FDA will analyze comments about the proposal. The agency expects to have a final rule after a year. Once the policy is finalized and approved, manufacturers will be given at least two years to comply with it.

Former FDA commissioner David Kessler said that the improvement on the label will really benefit the public as more people are becoming health-conscious. And while some people tend to ignore the label, the number of people reading it has now increased, a recent study revealed.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the advantages or disadvantages of the proposed change?
·         Why do you think some people tend to ignore the Nutrition Facts label?

Discussion B

·         Do you consider yourself a health-conscious person? Why or why not?
·         How can people be encouraged to eat more healthy food?


April 12, 2014