National Geographic : 1978 Jun
Why are so many manufacturers putting this much information on theirlabels? Under Food and Drug Administration regula tions, the labels of food products for which nutri tional claims are made must contain lists of important nutrients including vitamins, min erals, protein, carbohydrates and fats, as well as calories.Vitamins, minerals and protein are ex pressed as percentages of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (U.S. RDA)- the daily amounts established by the Food and Drug Administra tion as essential for maintaining good nutrition. Even when a listing is not required, many food manufacturers voluntarily provide this informa tion.They realize how this kind of information lets shoppers like you compare ingredients and buy the most nutritious foods. Good nutrition. More importantthan ever. Even though our country enjoys one of the high est standards of living and is the largest producer of food products in the world, there are serious gaps in our national diet, most frequently be cause of poor eating habits. These deficiencies are not limited to low income groups, but cut across all economic and social levels. According to the most recent information, twenty to fifty percent of Americans run some risk of not meeting the U.S. RDA for at least one or more of the vitamins C, A, B, (thiamine), B 2 (riboflavin), and folic acid. Minerals such as iron and calcium are also likely to be insufficient. Other ways you may be robbing your body of vitamins. Recent studies show that blood plasma levels The Coins of All Nations collection includes a wide variety of fascinating monetary coins from all over the world. Each coin is sealed in its own cachet, postmarked in the country of issue. of vitamin C in heavy smokers were as much as 30% lower than in non-smokers. Chronic heavy consumption of alcohol, includ ing beer and wine, may interfere with the body's utilization of vitamins B 1, B 6 and folic acid. In addition, excessive drinking is frequently accom panied by poor eating habits, which compounds the problem by reducing vitamin intake. If you're dieting or skipping meals, you may be eliminat ing foods that contain many vitamins, including C, E and B-complex. Sickness, including fevers and colds, may very well lower the level of vitamins in your blood. And women who take birth control pills could need extra vitamins B1, B2, B12, folic acid and from two to ten times the normal amount of vita min B6 . These increased nutritional needs have been demonstrated in several studies, but your own physician should be consulted. How to get the extra vitamins you may need. When shopping for foods, be sure to read the nutritional panels on the side or back labels of the package. Select those that give you and your family a well-balanced diet, and will add up to a daily intake of at least 100% of the U.S. RDA for vitamins, minerals and the required amount of protein. Just to be sure, you can also take vita min supplements daily. There are a number of different formulations including multiple as well as individual vitamins. Vitamin Information Service, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., Nutley, N.J. 07110. RCD #1940R ur health is our concern. Your health is our concern.