Do We Need To Know What’s In Junk Food?

Staff Writer | New York Times | February 5, 2010

In the continuing effort to fight obesity in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing its nutrition labeling guidelines. The agency is re-evaluating serving sizes and considering the placement of calorie and nutrition labels on the front of food packages, from cereals to soups to candy.

Are there better ways to inform consumers about what they are eating? Listing the nutrients and serving sizes seems silly when it comes to chips, cookies, soda. Would a straightforward warning be better when it comes to “junk” food?

Tom Laskawy, food policy blogger
Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab
Barry M. Popkin, economist and nutrition epidemiologist
Mark Andon, vice president of nutrition, ConAgra Foods
Hank Cardello, author, “Stuffed: An Insider’s Look at Who’s (Really) Making America Fat”
Adam Drewnowski , obesity researcher, University of Washington

‘Traffic-Light’ Labeling Would Help

Tom Laskawy blogs on food policy for and Beyond Green.

Think instead of the consumer standing in a supermarket aisle stacked 7 feet high with brightly colored, tempting bottles of favorite brands of soft drinks or packages of snacks. What chance does a bit of small print on the back of a package have in that scenario? Indeed, once you’re holding a package of junk food in your hand, the chances that you actually buy it skyrocket.