Regulation of Fat Content in Food: Recent History and Cultural Commentary
CitationRegulation of Fat Content in Food: Recent History and Cultural Commentary (2006 Third Year Paper)
AbstractFat content in food has been one of the most hotly contested areas of nutrition labeling. This paper traces the changes in fat content labeling requirements for packaged food from the optional disclosure system in place prior to the National Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (â€œNLEAâ€) through the recent addition of trans fat content to food labeling requirements, which became effective in January 2006. A discussion of the labeling requirements and the political processes involved in their development alone would not provide the whole story, however. Questions arise as to whether those concerned about nutrition should be more concerned about fat, cholesterol, nutrients, or simply calories. An examination of the consumer use of information is included. After all, why provide information unless consumers understand it and actually use the information to inform their behavior? Finally, the fact that so many of todayâ€™s meals are consumed outside the home brings the inevitable question of whether restaurants should no longer be exempt from the FDAâ€™s nutrition labeling and fat content disclosure requirements.
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