Dietary Labels and You
Perhaps there has been no greater deception to the public that the deceptive labeling practices of the food and supplement industry. The intent of labels are clear: clearly define what and how much of specific ingredients are in a given product. The major aspects of nutrition labeling regulations include the need to list all ingredients, including all additives, vitamins, minerals or any preservatives. The label must include the serving size which must be clearly defined as to what is contained in each of serving. Within these standards, the daily values in a percentage format for the food contained in the package must be clearly identified in line with what the USDA Food Guide dictates. In addition, the total food energy (kcalories), food energy from fat (kcalories), total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugars, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium must be defined as to amount and percentage of daily value.
Food labels must contain the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor. These must be displayed in a clear manner and be readily visible. Also, the common or usual product name must be defined in a dominant manner as well as any nutrient claims as per the compliance of defined criteria by the Federal Department of Agriculture. The net weight of the container, measure, or count of all products must be clearly labeled and easy to identify.
If any health claims are made, it must be in relation to the terms of the total diet. Care must be used in differentiating claims of structure and function. The guideline for structure and function claim is the claim mentions a disease or symptom then it must have Federal Department of Agriculture approval.
Don’t fall for false advertising or price manipulation. As of recent there has been an awareness of their deceptive labeling and promotional practices. Be smarter than the average bear, STOP and think before you purchase!