Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed adding a Daily Value (DV) maximum for added sugars to the Nutrition Facts Label.
This maximum would be set at 10% of the total calories a person eats in a day, a number which is supported by the World Health Organization and which is higher than the 5% total recommended by the United Kingdom's Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).
According to their announcement, the "FDA is proposing including the percent daily value (%DV) for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods, giving consumers additional information for added sugars similar to information they have seen for decades with respect to nutrients such as sodium and certain fats."
Offering this information could be a serious boon for people who are trying to improve their diets and eat healthfully.
The press release from the FDA explains, "'The FDA has a responsibility to give consumers the information they need to make informed dietary decisions for themselves and their families,' said Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. 'For the past decade, consumers have been advised to reduce their intake of added sugars, and the proposed percent daily value for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label is intended to help consumers follow that advice.'"
Since Americans currently get an average of far more than 10% of their daily calories from added sugars, adapting their lifestyles and buying habits to reflect this change would be quite an undertaking.
What do you think? Is this a step in the right direction? The FDA is currently considering public comments, so visit their website to submit a comment of your own before the deadline. You can also read about the proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts Label on the FDA's main site.
- FDA News Release: FDA revises proposed Nutrition Facts label rule to include a daily value for added sugars (fda.gov)
- FDA Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label (fda.gov)
- Good news: FDA proposes Daily Value for Added Sugars–10% of calories (food politics.com)
- SACN Carbohydrates and Health Report (gov.uk)
- Submit Your Comments About These Changes (fda.gov)
- Sugars Intake for Adults and Children: Guideline (who.int)
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Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.