Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: How much protein is in that Oreo?

Jun 5, 2024, 7:00 AM


Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.


SALT LAKE CITY — When you diet, you read a lot of nutrition labels. How many calories? How much protein?

But there was a time when you’d never figure it out. As late as the 1970s, there was no such thing as a nutrition label. But sometimes one guy can make a world of difference.

A workaholic lawyer, Peter Barton Hutt, became the FDA’s chief legal counsel. He’s the guy who pushed through the standard nutrition label in the 1970s. He’s now  89, healthy, sharp and he still works as a lawyer. He lectures at Harvard Law School.

Hutt wouldn’t think of retiring, though his glory days were 50 years ago. He’s so old that he was actually a milkman delivering milk to your doorstep as a teenager. And today, if you’re an Ozempic user for weight loss, you owe this guy a thank you.

Back in the 1960s, Hutt’s brother had a brain tumor. On the brink of death, a caring doctor gave him a steroid that wasn’t meant for brain tumors — but it worked. It allowed Hutt’s brother to leave the hospital and live another 10 months with his wife and kids.

So when he got to the FDA, Peter Hutt approved the off-label use of prescription drugs. These days, Ozempic is a drug for diabetics but is now prescribed for weight loss. Thank you, Peter Hutt.  

But he’ll still best be known as the Father of the Nutrition Label. 

And still working at 89 you must wonder, what kind of nutrition regimen keeps this guy going? He says hamburgers and hot dogs. See Hutt wants you to read his nutrition label and make your own decision. His?  Burgers, dogs — and he says if the FDA ever bans vanilla ice cream, he’ll be the first to file a lawsuit.

Jeff Caplan is the host of Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Facebook and X. 

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: How much protein is in that Oreo?