FDA changes nutrition panel to bring added sugar out of hiding

First Lady Michelle Obama this morning announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration final approval of a requirement that food makers list grams of added sugars on nutrition-facts panels, along with the percentage of the recommended daily maximum they represent. Dr. Jim Krieger, executive director of Healthy Food America, issued this statement in response:

“This long-awaited change represents a real victory for consumers and their health. The science is clear that added sugars, which today appear in 68 percent of packaged food and beverages, are a key contributor to rising rates of diabetes and liver, heart and dental disease.

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While the federal dietary guidelines now call for a daily maximum of about 12 teaspoons of added sugars, the typical American consumes 23 – often without knowing it. The new requirements will ensure that families know what is in the products they buy and the implications for their health.

We also are gratified that the portion information on labels will now reflect how people actually consume the products. A 20-oz. bottle of Coke, for example, will be identified as one serving, containing a whopping 130 percent of the recommended daily maximum for added sugar.

While truth in labeling will help, we know much more action is needed to reverse the flood of added sugars that have crept into the American diet in recent decades, and the relentless marketing of products that are contributing to chronic, nutrition-related diseases. But this change to nutrition information is a critical early step.”

For more information on added sugars and their impact on health, please see http://www.healthyfoodamerica.org/sugar_and_health.


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