The 'Added Sugar' Label Is Coming To A Packaged Food Near You

The 'Added Sugar' Label Is Coming To A Packaged Food Near You

February 27, 2014, US first lady Michelle Obama announces proposed changes to food labels during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

Federal officials are super-sizing key information on nutrition labels for packaged foods and adding additional data to help Americans make healthier choices as their appetites - and many products marketed to fill them - have grown.

In addition to displaying the amount of added sugars per serving, the new labels will also include a Percent Daily Value figure for added sugar, calculated based on guidelines that recommend people consume no more than 10% of daily calories from added sugars. The new label has more realistic service sizes and lists added sugar.

Among less prominent changes is a new line showing how much sugar has been added to the product. Additionally, Nutrition Facts labels must include the actual amount of nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium, in addition to the Percent Daily Value. The labels were introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama, who announced them during the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Obama has been an activist against childhood obesity during her time as First Lady.

"GMA shares FDA's commitment to improving nutrition labeling regulations and it commends the agency's significant investment of time and resources to update this important tool for consumers", said Dr. Leon Bruner, the association's chief science officer. The explanation of what this is continues to appear at the bottom of the label and is still based on a 2,000 calorie diet but it is more streamlined. The calorie listing will now be much larger than the rest of the type on the label, making it hard to overlook. A pint of ice cream has three servings now instead of four, and a 12-ounce bottle of soda is listed as one serving-as is a 20 ounce bottle, because the FDA found that people typically consume either size in one sitting. Soft drink and candy makers, whose products are considered among the main sources of added sugar in our diets, have also made pledges in recent years to lower their sweet factor.

Marion Nestle, a professor in the department of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University said.

Nutrition advocates have long sought an added sugars line on the label so consumers can understand how much sugar in an item is naturally occurring, like that in fruit and dairy products, and how much is put in by the manufacturer. The Grocery Manufacturers Association released a statement saying it will work with the FDA to help consumers learn what the new labels mean.

Foods and drinks manufacturers have been asked to implement the new label guidelines by July 26, 2018. The rule change sped through government red tape relatively quickly, marking a win for the Obama administration in its final months in office.

Related News: