Making Food Labels Easier, More Convenient Could Have a Drastic Impact on American Health
Is education, or the lack thereof, a big part of the issues surrounding American society these days! Absolutely, and our overall health and wellness is one of these very areas that needs a helping hand. Better nutritional education or simplified nutritional information could go a long way to helping alleviate some of the more well-known health issues Americans face.
Take the nutritional label for example. A staple in American society, yet often ignored or misunderstood. Could we fix this, make it better, make it easier to use in daily food choices and eating habits? You bet! Would that have an impact on overall health and wellness? No doubt! Better food labels would have an impact!
Well, some time ago, this very thing was being considered and worked on, unfortunately, to date, no significant changes! Does that mean it won’t happen? Not at all, but here are just a few options that would improve how we look, feel and perform as a society!
A couple of years ago, a project at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Journalism took on the task of designing a better food label, asking for ideas to replace the current black and white Nutrition Facts label that appears on every food package. Although the designs aren’t part of the official effort to redesign food packages, the Berkeley project has generated dozens of new ideas that are likely to be considered by the United States Food and Drug Administration, which is in the process of revising the existing food label. This fall, the Institute of Medicine is expected to release its own report on food packaging and labeling.
“We asked food thinkers and design minds to come together and give advice on how they might rethink the food label and bring some insight into how design impacts choice,’’ said Lily Mihalik, co-creator of the project and a fellow in the News21 program, which is a journalism fellowship supported by the Carnegie and Knight Foundations. “There are a lot of things right with the current label, but at the same time people are confused. The question is whether a new nutrition facts label could help people make more educated decisions.’’