Sugary Sodas And Cereals May Get A New FDA Nutrition Label

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Sugary Sodas And Cereals May Get A New FDA Nutrition Label

Cereal boxes, soda bottles and other packaged foods in the US could soon include labels explaining how their sugar content measures up against the recommended daily limit.

The proposal by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would expand on the agency’s decision last year to list added sugars on food labels, Susan Mayne, the director of the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a blogpost.

Adding a percentage figure would tell consumers how the amount of added sugars fits into their recommended daily diet. For example, a 20-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage contains about 66 grams of added sugar, which would be listed on the labels as 132 per cent of the daily value, according to the blogpost. A Coca-Cola at that size has 65 grams, while a Pepsi has 69 grams.

The FDA plans to set the per-cent daily value based on an added-sugar limit of 50 grams for adults and children ages four and older, and 25 grams for children ages one to three. The proposal is based on the recommendation that consumers’ daily intake of calories from added sugar not exceed 10 per cent of total calories, according to a statement from the FDA. Lowering the amounts of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, the agency said.

Following Through


“For the past decade, consumers have been advised to reduce their intake of added sugars, and the proposed per-cent daily value for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label is intended to help consumers follow that advice,” Mayne said in the statement.

In response to the move, the sugar industry’s trade group said that the proposal lacks “adequate scientific evidence”.

“The fact is that the preponderance of science and the data on caloric sweeteners do not support a suggested limit on sugars intake,” the Sugar Association said in an emailed statement.

The Grocery Manufacturers' Association echoed the sugar industry in an emailed statement, insisting that the FDA base intake levels on “an independent, rigorous, scientific process”.


The FDA made the decision after US advisors helping shape the nation’s dietary guidelines recommended that Americans eat less added sugar. The advisors submitted a report in February that said that evidence shows that diets high in red meat and added sugar were “detrimental”.

News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM

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