G.M.A. launches web site in support of Facts Up Front

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Grocery Manufacturers Association has launched an interactive web-based tool for consumers that supports the Facts Up Front nutrition labeling initiative launched by the G.M.A. and the Food Marketing Institute in 2011.

The web site (www.factsupfront.org) features facts and interactive tools to educate and empower consumers, including a nutrition calculator, an interactive label, a nutrition quiz, shopping and meal planning tips, and recipes.

“Facts Up Front empowers consumers to make informed choices,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the G.M.A. “It arms them with critical nutrition information about their favorite products. But to make the most of Facts Up Front, Americans need to understand what that information means and how it relates to their calorie and nutrient needs. Through this web site, we are providing consumers with the knowledge and tools they need to build a healthful diet.”

According to the G.M.A., the nutrition calculator will help people determine the specific calorie and nutrient needs for themselves and their family members, while the interactive label will explain all the nutrients featured in Facts Up Front, how they impact health and common nutrient sources.

The web site also will provide advice from registered dietitians as part of the shopping and meal planning tips feature, and it will include numerous recipes made with products bearing the Facts Up Front label.

In addition to these consumer resources, there is also a section of the web site for health professionals, which provides downloadable tools and resources for educating consumers, patients and clients.

Facts Up Front labels, which are displayed on the front of products, highlight nutrition information — calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar per serving. The labels also provide consumers with valuable information about “nutrients to encourage,” the nutrients essential for a balanced diet, as well as those under-consumed by most Americans. The labeling program was developed in response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s call on the food and beverage industry to help consumers construct a healthy diet for themselves and their families.

The number of products carrying the Facts Up Front label in the marketplace continues to increase based on production and distribution schedules. The Hershey Co. on April 17 said it will add the Facts Up Front label to its packaging by the second half of 2013.
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