Skip to main content

The Reference Amount: What is it?

Do you wonder who decides what a serving size is? How is it decided? Why it can be so inaccurate at times? Look no further.

 

The RA"Reference Amount:" see post.

The RA, or Reference Amount, is the quantity the FDA decides that is the amount of food the average American eats or drinks at one time. It is based on the common, intended use for the product, like the amount of milk someone drinks, not the amount of milk someone uses to cook their hot chocolate.

See also: What’s on the Nutrition Label?

 

Note that serving sizes are made on the assumption that the product will be consumed by someone older than 4 years old. In the case of items made specifically for toddlers or infants, like baby food, the serving size is the amount the average toddler / infant will eat in one sitting.

 

The serving size has to be made in accordance with the Reference Amount. Exceptions to this are for meal products or main dishA food that makes a large contribution to a meal. It must... More products, because they contain combinations of foods. Also, if the food is intended for weight control, the manufacturer can decide the serving size.

See also: Who Decides What a Serving Size is, Anyway?

 

Hey, that seems alright. There are regulations in place to make sure a serving size is legitimate and accurate to avoid tricking those who don’t read the labels too closely. The problem is, the Department of Agriculture took its census (consisting of nationwide surveys and studies) in the late 1970s and 80s! The information is credible, but 30 years outdated!

stevia-servingAn image of the Serving Per Container of a sugar substitute

 

Some examples?

 

Snacks: All varieties, pretzels, popcorn, extruded snacks, fruit-based snacks (e.g., fruit chips,) grain based snack mixes — 30g.

Desserts: Ice cream, ice milk, frozen yogurt, sherbet: all types, bulk and novelties (e.g., bars, sandwiches, cones) — 1/2 cup-includes the volume for coatings and wafers for the novelty type varieties

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts

 

In English, 1/6 of a can of Pringle’s, 1/4 to 1/5 of a soft pretzel, and 1/4 of a Ben & Jerry’s milkshake. Let’s face it, that is just not realistic these days.

See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?

 

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

But all hope is not lost. The government realized this, and made/amended/modified several rules for nutrition labels, the RA being a key component of this update. But we will just have to wait, because the rules will not go into effect for at least a couple of years. Read more about the upcoming changes here.

 

To Summarize

Thankfully, manufacturers can’t choose to throw on some arbitrarily small serving size and tell you their product has next to no calories. They need to follow specific guidelines for their food or drink. On the other hand, the guidelines they need to follow are outdated and, in the all-too-common case of bite-sized servings, trick consumers into eating far more calories than they think. Be on the lookout for the “Servings Per Container.”

See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Source(s):

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21, Chapter I, Subchapter B, Part 101, February, 2016. http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=0811a061720528cac7d88e839b14cb5c&pitd=20160216&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title21/21cfr101_main_02.tpl. Accessed September 10, 2016.

Nutritionix. Food database, https://www.nutritionix.com. Accessed September 10, 2016.

42 thoughts to “The Reference Amount: What is it?”

  1. You could definitely see your skills within the paintings you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  2. I¡¦ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this website. Studying this info So i¡¦m happy to show that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I most indubitably will make certain to do not overlook this web site and give it a look on a relentless basis.

  3. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  4. I do trust all of the concepts you’ve introduced in your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for novices. May you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  5. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  6. Thank you so much for providing individuals with an extremely memorable chance to discover important secrets from here. It is always very excellent and also packed with a good time for me personally and my office acquaintances to visit your website really 3 times a week to learn the new secrets you have got. Of course, we’re always fulfilled for the breathtaking knowledge served by you. Certain 3 facts in this article are truly the most effective we have ever had.

  7. I do believe all the ideas you have offered for your post. They’re very convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for beginners. Could you please extend them a little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  8. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  9. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  10. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own website now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a great example of it.

  11. As I web-site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling magnificent , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

  12. Good site! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!

  13. I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Studying this info So i¡¦m happy to show that I’ve a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much without a doubt will make certain to do not fail to remember this site and provides it a glance regularly.

  14. I like what you guys are up too. Such intelligent work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my web site 🙂

  15. I think other web site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and magnificent user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You’re an expert in this topic!

  16. Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  17. I have not checked in here for some time as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  18. I like what you guys are up too. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I¡¦ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site 🙂

  19. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your website in internet explorer, could test this¡K IE still is the marketplace chief and a good portion of other folks will leave out your great writing because of this problem.

  20. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  21. I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to reach my goals. I definitely enjoy reading everything that is written on your website.Keep the information coming. I loved it!

  22. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

  23. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, as well as the content!

  24. Nice blog right here! Additionally your site a lot up very fast! What host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate link in your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  25. Just desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is simply cool and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  26. Hello there, I discovered your blog via Google even as looking for a similar matter, your website got here up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  27. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a great example of it.

  28. I will right away seize your rss as I can’t find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *