The latest trend in supermarkets across the nation and with food manufacturers is nutritional labeling. With the growing health concerns from poor nutrition consumers want to know what’s in the foods they find at the grocery store. With diabetes 2, heart disease, obesity and childhood illness on the rise the savvy consumer wants to make healthier food choices.Nutritional Labels: The Latest Trend in Grocery Stores and for Food ManufacturersThe FDA has yet to respond with nutritional label guidelines despite the demand; however a number of national grocery stores as well as food manufacturers have taken action to help the consumer decode the confusing, hard to read nutritional labels. PepsiCo introduced SmartSpot Seals in 2004; Kraft came out with Sensible Solutions in 2005, NuVal labels are used at Hy-Vee stores, Guiding Stars program at Hannaford Brothers grocery store chains (Food Lion) and others programs are supposed to help make sense of food labels.The Keystone Group (a non-profit group) started the Smart Choice program that gives a green check mark to foods meeting certain criteria. Participation in this program is not mandatory but several industry leaders have announced their participation; Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft, Kellogg’s, General Mills, ConAgra Foods, Unilever, and Wal-Mart.Problems with Nutritional Labeling Programs Adds to ConfusionWhile nutritional labeling is a step in the right direction there are problems with these programs. First of all, consistency. One grocery store chain may use red labels to denote heart healthy foods while a second chain uses yellow for heart healthy. The result is two almost identical products with different colored labels adding to the confusion. Once the food is home the consumer has to re-read labels every time they open the pantry.Another problem with the Keystone Group’s program is participation is not mandatory once again leaving the consumer do more work, with more confusion. Companies whose products you like may choose not to participate in the Smart Choice program leaving you to read the labels before you buy and then again at home before you eat.What’s Considered Healthy by Big Business Doesn’t Meet Consumers’ StandardsA third problem is that what people at PepsiCo (and other big companies) and the Keystone Group deem as healthy doesn’t necessarily mean its’ something consumers consider healthy. With the current nutritional labeling large corporations or a non-profit group decide what to label as “healthy” and the consumer must go by their guidelines. For instance, a breakfast cereal receives the Smart Choice label, but this product contains 12 grams of sugar (2 teaspoons) per serving. This amount of sugar is one many consumers don’t consider healthy.Large corporations who use labeling to promote “healthy” products have a bottom line of profits. They label based upon their own standards which often are lenient and inconsistent with consumers’ standards.One Size Fits All: Nutritional Labels Fail to Address Specific Diet NeedsA final problem with these nutritional labels is no differentiation for foods that are heart healthy versus foods that are healthy for diabetics to eat. It’s a one size fits all label with both the Smart Choice labels, the grocery store and food manufacturers labels. This adds to the consumer’s confusion about what to eat for their own personal health needs.One person in a household may need a diet specifically for heart health; this isn’t the same type of diet a growing ten year old would need. What’s healthy for one person isn’t healthy for all.Food manufacturers and grocery stores claim that even when the program is fully in place only 10% of the products on the shelves will have nutritional labels. That leaves a lot of labels to decode!Another company has recently introduced a nutritional labeling program that can be used across the board by consumers, no matter where they shop or what food manufacturers they choose; this labeling system may prove to be the best choice for consumers to simply nutritional labels.Easy Diet Labels Decodes Nutritional LabelsThis product, Easy Diet Labels, lets the consumer personalize diet needs, provides support and saves time at the store and in the kitchen.Easy Diet Labels is a breakthrough approach to dieting and eating healthy that works for any diet plan. Consumers shopping for a diabetic diet, a heart healthy diet, a weight loss diet, and even the consumer teaching their family to make healthy eating choices can use this simple and effective nutritional labeling system.There are labels for Low Carb Diets, Heart Health, Calorie Counting and Families Building Healthy Eating Habits. Labels are color coded and easy to read. Easy Diet Labels empowers the consumer and puts the control in their hands, not the hands of big business. You can choose products from various grocery stores, different food manufacturers, and use the same color coded labels for each. Easy Diet Labels lets the 50 year old diabetic in the house know what to eat and the 8 year old kid will know what snack to pick.Since consumers have finally began to take notice of how diet affects health and demand has started for healthier foods this new wave of nutritional labeling is sure to grow. It’s hopeful trend for the consumer who wants to eat healthy and make informed decisions at the grocery store and at home.