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Proposed changes to nutritional labels could make it easier for consumers

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WASHINGTON, DC - For the first time in more than 20 years, the nutrition facts labels found on nearly every food product in the country will undergo a makeover.

"Too often it's nearly impossible to get the most basic facts for the foods we buy for our families," said First Lady Michelle Obama.

The First Lady held a press conference on the fourth anniversary of her Let's Move Campaign to unveil the changes.

The proposed labels would have calorie information printed much larger for people to read. Serving sizes would be updated, since most Americans typically eat more than the current portion sizes. Some nutrients may be dropped, while others like potassium and vitamin D would be added. Added sugars also would be included on the list and there would be revisions to the daily values for sodium and fiber.

"We realize the label alone won't magically change how America eats, but we hope that once consumers decide to implement changes in their diet and lead to healthier lifestyles it will provide them with the tools to be successful," said Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg.

The changes come as a recent government survey shows 42% of working adults and more than half of older adults actually read nutrition labels.

"As consumers and as parents we have a right to understand what's in the food we are feeding our families because that's really the only way that we can make informed choices," Mrs. Obama said.

The FDA says companies will probably spend close to two billion dollars to change their labels.

For the next three months, the FDA will take comments on the label. It could take another year for them to finalize the changes. Then the food industry would have two years to implement them.

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