The FDA's New Serving Sizes

Rachel Cameron

Article Summary

This article delves into the pros and cons of the FDA changing the serving size on food labels. As the labels stand now, they state how much people typically eat in one serving, rather than how much people should be eating in one serving. The new FDA labels would read higher serving sizes, such as having ice cream nutritional facts for one cup, rather than the current half cup serving. It is predicted that there are two possible outcomes; either people will see the more accurate nutritional facts and will decide to eat less of the food, or they will use it as an excuse to eat more. In several experiments, people who were given the food with the future food labels ate more than the people with the current food labels. Experts suggest that more education on what exactly a serving size is may help remedy the problem of overeating.

Article Critique

The author of this article, Laura Geggel, has been master's in journalism and has an advanced certificate in science, health and environmental reporting from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism institute. Her writings have been published in The New York Times, Science World, Popular Science and several other magazines and journals.

I found the article to be very well written, with ample evidence to support the claims being made. It also incorporated many outside sources, such as experiments that had been done to support the claim that increasing the serving size on food labels would lead to overeating. Credited sources, such as Jason Block, a professor in health from Harvard, were also brought in to contribute outside opinions that helped support the argument.

The facts that were brought up in this piece were also accurate and helpful, such as the amount of calories that are recommended currently by the FDA, as well as some other facts about specific foods that Americans are eating. Not only was the article informative and accurate, it also was captivating to read. First capturing the reader with a quiz question, it went into the pros and cons of this new idea, with relevant information that would affect the daily lives of the audience.

LiveScience, the website that this article was retrieved from, has received high rankings as being user friendly, humorous, and educational. It is run by a staff of 5 educated writers, and is owned by a successful news company, TechMediaNetwork. It also has the distinction of being a very profitable online news network, something that is rather difficult in the world of online information.

My only critique in this article was the assertiveness in stating what side it is supporting. All of the experiments done and all of the experts that were included supported not increasing the serving size. However, the article also discussed the benefits of increasing the serving size, such as giving more accurate and available data to the consumer about that they are intaking without having to do the math. Though it gave support for both sides, and could easily be a piece to educate rather than persuade, there was significantly more data to support the argument that serving sizes should not be increased, leading the reader to be confused on what exactly the purpose of the article is.