Food labels were regulated in 1994. Before then, food companies could print their products’ nutritional information basically anywhere they wanted to (and often in really small print).
The Food and Drug Administration required companies to format the information in a structured way and to include helpful information on the label — in a set size and organized manner.
These regulations required both the ingredients and nutritional information to be provided along with a food label of a standard size and shape (a rectangle) labeled “Nutrition Facts”. In this box, you will find nutritional information listed in order of importance.
In 1994, the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture required that:
- labels provide information on how the food fits into an overall daily diet
- labels will include information on the amount per serving of saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, and other nutrients of health concern to today’s consumers
- terms such as light,” “fat-free,” and “low-calorie” meet government definitions
- be consistent across product lines to make comparison shopping easier
- expressed in common measures
- reflect amounts people actually eat (Good Reading)