Cracking the Serving Size Code

Nutrition Facts are written on the side of nearly every food package, but do you know what the facts are saying?

This is Public Health is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Health Department.

It may sound odd, but by law serving sizes are based on the amount of food you typically consume, not on the amount you should consume. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these serving sizes are updated to reflect average consumption.

Keeping that in mind, the new Nutrition Facts label has been affected by the updates and it reflects the increases or decreases in typical consumption- not necessarily a change in the calories or nutrients.

Calories & Daily Value

On the new Nutrition Facts label the calories are larger and bolder, sometimes dividing the rest of the label into two categories for single serving size and package information. The % Daily Value provides percentages of your typical total daily diet.

If the %DV is 5 percent or lower it’s considered a low percentage, while anything 20 percent or more is a high percentage of daily value.

What Should I Eat?

It’s important for children and adults to eat food from each food group every day. Per the American Academy of Pediatrics, every day children one to ten should have:

  • 2-3 servings each of fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy
  • 6-11 servings of grains

For adults, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends:

  • 2 to 3 cups of vegetables
  • 5 to 2 cups of fruit
  • 5 to 8 oz. of grains
  • 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free dairy
  • 5 to 6.5 oz. of protein
  • 5 to 7 tsp. of oils

For more information on serving sizes, check out https://www.fda.gov/food/new-nutrition-facts-label/serving-size-updates-new-nutrition-facts-label. Please visit www.tchdnow.org or find them on Facebook for more information about the Tuscarawas County Health Department and their services.

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