I came upon a bulletin board yesterday,while walking the halls during a class break.  I ended up in the Nutrition area.  The bulletin board was very informative.  I believe its purpose was to offer education or advice on using the nutrition information provided on food packages.  Of course, one of the problems with the information on packages is that it takes a great deal of nutrition knowledge and time to fully process.  These are two things that the general public is short on (time and nutrition knowledge)
   The part of the bulletin board that caught my attention had to do with one of the front of pack systems used voluntarily by a manufacturer.  It was shown on a product that I love and have shared on the blog;  Blue Bunny sugar free ice cream.  The caption, referring to the FOP information was “the front sells, the back tells.”  On the back of the package is the Nutrition Facts Panel and the ingredients list. These are two things that the Institute of Medicine has determined to be hard for consumers to understand and process (read, put together, use).  I agree.  It is also why a front of pack system could be more useful that the back of the pack.  
   The point that the nutrition students were making on the bulletin board is a very good one (which I will explain in a moment). 
   We need the easier to use Front of Pack system, but we need it with the interpretive and guiding criteria as put forth by the IOM.  You might have forgotten what that was.  I will quickly remind you.  All front of packs (under the standards proposed) must have the calorie information boldly highlighted.  The items that the Dietary Guidelines suggest we limit, i.e., saturated (trans) fats, added sugar and sodium are the criteria on which a product is judged.  A product that is low in any of the three areas will get a star  - for a possible total of 3 stars.
   So the Blue Bunny issue from the nutrition students bulletin board was two fold.  The first was that the serving size highlighted on the package was a ½ cup.  I, too, have said that is unrealistic.  The students calculated the calories, sugar, etc for a 1 cup serving size.  The second problem they highlighted was the “no added sugar” claim.  In fact, they said, it is no added table sugar – sucralose.  
    On the back of the package the students had highlighted words that indicate sugar and sugar alcohol.  I might be able to pick some of them out – I believe “tol” and “ose” are word endings that give  clues.      
   But as the IOM states and I strongly support - YOU (we, the consumer) should not have to figure that out – hence the need for standardized FOP systems.
   YUP – we are still waiting for them!