Sabtu, 01 November 2008

New Nutrient Standards for Packaged Foods

Finally, someone has decided to make it easy for consumers to pick the healthiest packaged foods! A coalition of some of the biggest food companies has teamed up with scientists and the federal government to develop and promote a simple front-of-package logo called “Smart Choices” to indicate that a food meets certain nutritional standards. The standards include limited quantities of total and saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and salt, as well as minimum quantities of nutrients for good health, such as calcium, potassium, fiber, and certain vitamins. And like the “Heart Healthy” program originally developed by the American Heart Association, the new program is based on good scientific evidence.

Once consumers understand what the logo means and accept its underlying health assumptions, they can simply look for the logo on the front of the package. “Pattern recognizers” such as myself (who can’t find their favorite products in the grocery store if the manufacturer changes the packaging!) will appreciate the help in picking healthful foods. The logo is a green check mark in a square along with the words, “Smart Choices Program”. For a complete listing of the nutritional requirements to earn the Smart Choices label, visit the Smart Choices website. The logo should begin appearing on products in stores by the middle of next year.

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