New Food Labels Will Reflect How Much Americans Actually Eat

May 20th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

If you've bothered to look at the nutrition labels on the back of your food, the serving sizes often seem so unrealistic that they become a sad joke.

However, if you're not paying attention to the serving sizes, you may get the wrong idea about how many calories you're actually putting in your body. That's one of the big reasons the Federal Food and Drug administration announced Friday that it's changing the requirements for nutrition labels on the back of food.

The FDA knows that the current serving sizes don't make sense for todays snack-loving Americans.

"By law, serving sizes must be based on amounts of foods and beverages that people are actually eating, not what they should be eating. How much people eat and drink has changed since the previous serving size requirements were published in 1993. For example, the reference amount used to set a serving of ice cream was previously ½ cup but is changing to ⅔ cup. The reference amount used to set a serving of soda is changing from 8 ounces to 12 ounces." — Federal Food and Drug Administration

This is kind of a big deal and here's a simple reason. We dare you to find someone who is only eating 12 chips from the Cool Ranch Doritos bag during a Netflix run. Yes, that's right. The serving size is currently 12 chips.

Nutrition facts for Cool Ranch Doritos.

To further put this in perspective, maybe that morning you were in a rush to get to work so you picked up a muffin at a convenience store and ate it on the way. A muffin is one serving size right? Who is cutting muffins into pieces? Wrong. There are actually two servings in your typical packaged muffin.


So if you ate the whole muffin and had 24 chips instead of 12, you snacked away 630 calories instead of the 315 you probably thought you were eating. The packaging is based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so that's about a quarter of your calories for the day. We're not even talking about what you did for lunch or dinner.

As ATTN: reported earlier this month, when compared to common household items, the serving sizes of our favorite treats can be depressingly small.

Like Ice Cream ...

½ Cup Of Ice Cream = 2 Golf Balls

... and Cheese.

1.5 Ounces Of Cheese 4 Stacked Dice

The FDA also said it will also be adding new nutrition information to food labels. "Added sugar" will appear on the labels with a percent of the recommended daily value, and there will be new calculations for the daily value for some nutrients like sodium and fiber.

RELATED: What Healthy Portions Actually Look Like