Changes Proposed for Sugar Information on Nutrition Labels


Most of us are becoming more aware of just how much sugar overload can be a factor in our diets. But now, reports the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing changes to nutrition labels to list amounts of added sugar and the recommended healthy level.

The agency wants the percent daily value of added sugars listed. Right now sugar content is only listed as grams. The FDA wants consumers to see more clearly how much extra sugar they are getting.

The proposed label change would set the recommended intake of added sugar for packaged food and drinks at nor more than ten percent of a 2,000 calorie day, or 200 calories a day. That works out to about 13 teaspoons of added sugar

But here’s the point. One twelve ounce can of cola contains nearly ten teaspoons of sugar!

According to Time, the FDA recommends adults and children, four and older, not consume more than 50 grams of added sugars per day. For kids one to three, the limit is 25 grams per day. If you take the example of someone drinking a 20 oz. sugary drink, that is about 66 grams of added sugar, and using the new labeling would warn the consumer he is getting 132 percent the daily recommendation!

If we think about how many cans of cola are consumed daily by kids and adults the sugar over load needs attention and using labels to do it might help.

Not surprising, packaged food and beverage companies are protesting. They say doing nutritional label highlighting would be a waste because they contend additional information rarely changes the consumer’s choice and it would be costly for companies to make the changes!

In response, it sounds like all of us should do the personal homework for ourselves and our families, continuing to fight sugar overload, moving to low sugar or no sugar drinks.

After we have done that we need to do what we can to get this type of FDA labeling accomplished. Wherever you can, speak up and speak out against sugar overloading in food and drinks.

Sugar, like fats, has proven to be addictive, and one can of cola often easily leads to many more.

I saw this happen with an elderly relative who had been a model of health eating a healthy diet for years. But in her later years a series of mini-strokes affected her judgment and she soon found herself addicted to sugar. Cans of cola became a favorite right along with heavily sugared pasta sauces and catsup. Before she might have had one can of cola a week. Once addicted, she started consuming several cans a day, until her family and doctor intervened.

Watch for new updates on sugar labeling and help wherever you can to point up the problem.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Rosmarie Voegtli