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Creating Food Labels People Actually Understand and Use

Food and Drink RealClearLife Staff
A nutrition facts label displays sodium content in a supermarket in New York, U.S., on Monday, March 1, 2010. The U.S. food industry may face federal sodium restrictions if it doesn't move on its own to make packaged meals less salty, said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an editorial published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A nutrition facts label displays sodium content in a supermarket in New York, U.S., on Monday, March 1, 2010. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Be honest: on the occasions when you remember to look at a nutrition label, you still don’t get much information from it. You probably look at calories, but even then you may not remember to check to see if it’s for the entire container or just a serving. (And if it is for a serving, you likely don’t do the math to determine how many calories you’ll consume if you do eat the entire package.)

WIRED wants to come to the rescue. They’ve come up with a variety of possible new approaches to labeling that aim to give you useful information at a glance. These include outright giving grades on nutritional value: if you see an “A” you know it’s nutritious, if you see the “F” you know it’s not. Other steps are less dramatic, such as displaying the actual ingredients in a prominent place so you don’t have to search to figure out you’re eating, but they’re all innovative and hopefully receive some FDA consideration.

Click here to learn more and watch a CBC News exploration of whether food labeling is even accurate below.