FDA Proposes Quantified Added Sugars on Food Labels

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration formally proposed requiring nutrition labels to list amounts of added sugar and recommended consumption levels. This move has been long supported by health advocates but strongly opposed by the food and beverage industry.

“Added sugars” are defined as sugars not already present in the food before production and packaging. The FDA also wants labels to include information about what percentage of a person’s daily recommended sugar intake was represented by that added sugar.

Officials recommend that people not consume more than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugar. This amounts to 50 grams of added sugar in a recommended daily diet of 2,000 calories. For context, the FDA provides the example of a consumer drinking a 10-oz. sugary beverage containing 66 grams of added sugar, which would be listed on the label as 132 percent of the Daily Value.

In a blog post about the proposed change, FDA director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Susan Mayne writes,

Scientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutrition needs while staying within calorie requirements in you consume more than 10 percent of your daily total calories from added sugar. FDA’s initial proposal to include the amount of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label is now further supported by newly reviewed studies suggesting healthy dietary patterns, including lower amounts of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, are strongly associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Response from the food and beverage industries and their trade groups was immediate. The Sugar Associates released a statement claiming that the FDA made “assertions that lack adequate scientific evidence.”

The fact is that the preponderance of science and data on the caloric sweeteners do not support a suggested limit on sugars intake,”

it said. The proposal is open for public comment for 75 days.

Read more here – “FDA Proposes Placing Sugar Guide on Food Labels,” (Ilan Bert and Mike Esterl, The Wall Street Journal)

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Mackenzie is a Marketing Fellow and a rising junior at Villanova University. She is planning to co-major in Marketing and Finance and minor in Business Entrepreneurship. As a part of her studies, she has created and presented a comprehensive marketing plan to professionals from The Vanguard Group featuring Vanguard's exchange-traded funds.

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