Nutrition Facts: Are the Numbers Enough?

Many Canadians rely on Nutrition Fact labels to balance their calorie, fat and sugar intake and ensure they getting their daily vitamins and minerals to maintain good health. But what about other components, such as probiotics, caffeine, and omega-3 that remain off the label? Is the information provided sufficient? According to a poll by the Minister of Heath in January of this year, most Canadians believe the current label is quite useful. However, many had ideas on how to improve the label to make Canadians better educated about what they're eating. The Minister of Health has put together a proposal to update the Nutrition Fact label to keep Canadians more informed about the food they're eating. In response to feedback from the January poll, the proposal suggests an update of nutritional information to reflect current standards and recommendations. This includes updating serving sizes to reflect how much Canadians actually consume in one sitting, and updating the % Daily Value to reflect current dietitian recommendations consistent with the progression in health and nutrition science. Another amendment will separate natural and added sugars, much like the division of saturated and trans-fats. The proposal also suggests that manufacturers include an optional "bio-active components" box that will inform consumers about caffeine levels, probiotics, and other nonessentials in their food products. The proposal is currently posted on the Heath Canada website, as is open to the public for further feedback until September 11. [caption id="attachment_54218" align="aligncenter" width="239"]This image depicts the proposed changes to the Nutrition Fact label. This image depicts the proposed changes to the Nutrition Fact label.[/caption]

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