HealthDay News — To help consumers ascertain the nutritional value of foods more easily, the Biden administration said Tuesday it will propose putting nutrition labels on the front of packaging instead of on the back. The proposal will be paired with an update on criteria for what foods can be called “healthy.”
Both are part of an effort “to shift our health care system away from just treating disease to preventing it,” a senior administration official told reporters on a call, NBC News reported.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will research and propose a standardized nutritional labeling system, which could include star ratings or traffic light images. A strategy report explaining the plan said it would “help consumers, particularly those with lower nutrition literacy, quickly and easily identify foods that are part of a healthy eating pattern.”
The news came just before Wednesday’s scheduled White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the first such conference in 50 years, NBC News reported. Food labeling and related proposals could help reach Biden’s aim to end hunger, while increasing healthy eating and physical activity and reducing the effect of diet-related diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes in the United States by 2030.
The administration is also working to improve food access and affordability, largely by increasing benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Each person who receives those benefits will get about $26 more per month. About 9 million more children will also have access to healthy, free school lunches by 2032 as part of the effort, and more children will receive summer benefits and SNAP eligibility, NBC News reported.