by Marion Nestle
Nov 2 2007

Have any ideas for those pesky Daily Values on food labels?

The FDA has just announced that it will be revisiting the Daily Values on food labels so here’s your chance to weigh in on whether you think they are good, bad, or indifferent in helping people decide whether a food product is worth eating. These, of course, are complicated. Lower is better for saturated fat and sodium, but higher is better for fiber and vitamins. Is there a better way to do this? Now is the time to state your opinion to the FDA. How? Submit comments according to these instructions.

  • I think HFCS needs to be broken out in the Sugars category. And if a product has any HFCS in it, it should read 500%, as I can’t imagine how there could be a DV for this ingredient.

    In addition, I think a warning label should be added to products like soda, french fries and cookies stating, “FDA Warning: This product will likely increase your weight and has no measurable health benefits. Consume at your own risk.” Perhaps this is too honest and straightforward?

    And, while we’re at, why doesn’t the FDA measure the ‘typical’ amount of a particular product that’s actually consumed and then base its numbers on that? This might not help the Girl Scouts out, as an awful lot of people consume a whole box of Thin Mints rather than a couple of cookies, which is consider the serving size.

    Finally, how about ending the transfat less-than-.5g/per serving loophole? Aren’t we tired of seeing transfat/portion size adjustments so that products can take advantage of this loophole? (Girl Scout Cookies, and so many, many others.)

    But then again, implementing suggestions like these would both slow the rampant obesity and diabetes epidemic and hurt the profits of Big Food/Chain restaurants. Yep, reasons it can never happen in America.

  • Do most Breakfast Cereals have a DV? Should most be reclassified as Candy or Desserts?

  • Jane

    I just wish more people would avoid food that has a label at all. Although there are some things that are good which come with labels…nuts are one of the few that comes to mind.

    To answer the question on the table, I pay absolutely no attention to DV on labels. I look no further than the ingredients list to decide whether to buy or avoid.