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FDA: Use the Nutrition Facts Label to Make Healthy Food Choices
Date:9/12/2007

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since the late 1980's, adult obesity has steadily increased to the point at which more than 65 percent of all Americans are now overweight and over 30 percent are obese. Also, 15 percent of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are overweight -- nearly double the rate of two decades ago.

A great tool to help prevent obesity is the Nutrition Facts Label on food packages, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The label has a lot of useful information, especially the number of calories and serving sizes in your food.

When you select or compare foods, see what the label says about the serving size and calories. Ask yourself these important questions:

What is the serving size?

How many servings are in the container?

How many calories are in a single serving?

Many packages hold more than one serving. When you consume multiple servings, it is easy to eat or drink much more than you realize. This can affect your calorie intake (and over time, your weight). If you eat and drink more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. To achieve or maintain a healthy weight, be mindful of calories when comparing like products.

How many calories are too high or low for a serving? This depends on your calorie goal for the day and how you balance your food choices during the day. In general, though, follow this guide to size up calories in a single serving.

General Guide to Calories:

40 calories - LOW

100 calories - MODERATE

400 calories - HIGH

The Nutrition Facts label is based on a 2000-calorie diet -- but your calorie needs might be different. To find out what your "target" calories per day are, visit http://www.mypyramid.gov. For more information on using the Nutrition Facts Label, go to http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/label.html.


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