Is Butter Low-Fat in a Smaller Serving Size?

A health & fitness blog states that butter legally could be called “low fat” just by specifying a very small serving size, because FDA rules do not define serving sizes. 


The labeling law does in fact define serving sizes, aka “reference amounts customarily consumed per eating occasion.” They vary from food to food. For example, each of these is one serving: 8 fl oz (240 ml) of juice, a 40 g brownie, 55 g of dry plain pasta, and 1 Tbsp of butter (which contains about 12 g fat – not even close to being low in fat). For the complete list, see section 101.12 of the food labeling law. For more information (including when it is OK for a serving size to be bigger, but never smaller, than the reference amount), see this FDA q&a.

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