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Canada's new front of food package warning labels for saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium

How do you feel about a warning symbol on the front of packaged foods alerting you to higher amounts of nutrients linked to chronic disease risk? In the US, we often see label statements and claims on the front of packages as to what “positive” nutrient a food might contain (fiber, omega-3, vitamin D, etc.) or what a food might not contain (gluten, GMOs, added sugars, etc.) – but in terms of amounts consumers must pick up a product and take a look (and try to decipher) at the Nutrition Facts Panel. Earlier this month, Canada instituted new food policy that requires packaged foods that contain more than 15% of the Daily Value for saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium to include a standardized warning on the front of the package. I admit, while I applaud the intent as we do overconsume these chronic disease promoting constituents, I am mixed about fostering a “good” “bad” approach to food choice – and how some consumers and manufacturers alike will respond. I often joke that dietitians often begin addressing questions with “it depends….”. Individual food choice must be viewed in context with the rest of the overall diet. Not sure if a warning label will be coming to a food package near you in the future. Would love to hear your perspective.  


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