The Food and Drug Administration has announced that the deadline for manufacturers to implement new nutrition labels which show calories more strongly in an attempt to raise consumer awareness about food choices will be extended. Former first lady Michelle Obama pushed for the new labels to be introduced as part of the Let's Move Campaign, which is aimed at ending childhood obesity. No new deadline has been announced.

The new nutrition label

In Spring of 2016, the Obama administration announced there would be changes in the nutrition labels. This is set to be the first major change in nutrition labels since they were first implemented in 1994.

In order to recognize a shifting emphasis from fats to calories, the calories from the fat portion of the label will be removed, no longer eluding to the low fat diet fad of the '90s. The calories per serving will be significantly larger on this new label in order to make it harder for the consumer to avoid. This is consistent to the current dietary view that excess calories cause obesity. Following in suit of the anti-sugar movement which has manufacturers scrambling to decrease the sugar content of their foods, the amount of added sugar will also be added to the Nutrition Label helping consumers to distinguish between the naturally occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables, and diary from those that are added to the product as a sweetener.

Other changes to come include dropping the required labeling of vitamins A and C as deficiencies are no longer a significant risk and making changes to serving sizes. In place of vitamins A and C, the nutrition label will require that manufacturers label the amounts of Vitamin D and potassium in their products. Iron and calcium will both remain on the label.

Serving sizes will be changed to represent what the average person is actually eating as opposed to the ideal consumption.

The FDA delay

The FDA recently announced that manufacturers would no longer be required to meet the original July 2018 deadline for the revised nutrition label. This comes shortly after the Trump administration made other changes to the nutrition programming put into place by Michelle Obama.

Although a new deadline has not been announced, the Grocery Manufacturers Association is asking that the deadline be moved as far back as 2021, thus giving companies an additional three years to comply with these new standards.

Despite the delay, many companies intend to switch over to the new label sooner rather than later. Some manufacturers are suggesting that they may be completing the transition to the new nutrition label within the next year, in time for the initial deadline. With some companies rolling out new labels in time for the original deadline and others hold back taking advantage of the delay, consumers may be seeing both nutrition labels on the products they pick up from the grocery store.