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New rule to make food labels less mysterious delayed

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By Sally McDonald, Clark.com

The Food and Drug Administration has delayed a nutrition facts panel update designed to help Americans clearly see the calories and added sugars in packaged foods.

Read more: New dietary guidelines limit sugar, salt and cholesterol

What you see is definitely not what you get

Currently, the 20-year-old labels list the total sugars in a product, including naturally occurring sugars in foods like fruits and milk. Since the labels haven’t been updated in nearly two decades, the serving sizes and daily values are no longer aligned with modern dietary guidelines — making it difficult to understand exactly what you’re putting in your body.

The new rule is designed to help consumers make informed decisions around the food they eat by emphasizing calorie counts, clarifying serving sizes and specifying the amount of added sugar.

Several companies, like candy maker Mars Inc., have already began to comply with the rule, so you may start to see two different types of nutrition panels in the grocery store.

Read more: 19 great resources to help you eat better!

The original deadline for companies to comply was July 26, 2018, with smaller food makers getting an extra year. Now the FDA is giving companies even more time to come into compliance, and there is no specific deadline yet.

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