After a long day at work or school, many of us make our way to our local supermarkets or corner store to pick up a snack to hold us over until dinner. With many options to choose from, we choose our favorite bag of chips and maybe even a drink to go along with it. If we are not already snacking on our food in line, we immediately open our snacks as soon as we leave the store. What many do not realize is that many of these “small” bags of chips and bottles of juice are meant to be shared.
For those unfamiliar with food labels, the FDA provides Nutrition Facts on food that include factors like total fat, sodium, calories, and so on. When looking at the Nutrition Facts on food products, many people’s eyes head straight for the fat and calorie count. Many forget that before you can track how much fat and how many calories that you are putting into your body, you must look at the serving size.
Although the FDA does provide consumers with these Nutritional Facts, they fail to mention that these facts are more times than not based on the product as a whole and not in just one serving. Those who do casually grab snacks after work, school, or any time of the day are not aware that the one bag of chips that they grabbed was not meant for just them, but one or maybe even two other people. Ultimately, most are unaware that the “small” snacks that they consume are leading them down a path of being overweight or obese.
It is important that the FDA not only provides consumers with accurate Nutritional Facts, but also makes these facts clear for everyone to be able to read and understand. One way that the FDA can fix this problem is to have two different Nutrition Facts labels; one showing facts about individual serving size and one showing facts about the product as a whole. That way consumers will be able to determine the proper serving size and be able to make the proper adjustments as far as what they eat throughout the rest of the day.