Regulators consider more explicit food labels

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the country is facing an obesity epidemic. Obesity is a major contributor to some of the leading causes of death in the U.S., including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. 

Since then, a number of national efforts have tried to address this issue. One of the most recent initiatives is the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which established physical activity and nutritional requirements for the American public school system. 

Now, regulators are considering enlisting the nutrition facts label found on all food products as their latest weapon in the fight against obesity. Readers of this blog will know that the Food and Drug Administration is already considering overhauling the current design. However, the Boston Globe recently called for even more extensive efforts in using the label to help consumers make healthier choices. 

The article points to a Johns Hopkins study that found that presenting calorie facts in a more functional context leads to healthier decisions.

"People don't really understand what it means to say a typical soda has 250 calories," one of the authors of the study told National Public Radio.

However, presenting the information in the context in the amount of exercise needed to burn them off helps consumers better understand their decision. In the study, consumers chose to buy smaller bottles or healthier drinks when the label explained how far one would have to run to burn off the calories. 

With many proposed changes to these key labeling elements being considered, organizations need be sure they remain up-to-date with best practices. On-demand product label printing is the best way to ensure that one isn't stuck with store rooms full of unusable labeling backstock.

The Epson TM-C3500, Primera LX900, and Afinia L801 all offer affordable means of removing the dependency on expensive third-party label suppliers.

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