When I heard the FDA was taking comments on revamping the nutrition facts label I was especially interested in what changes they were considering for trans fat, fiber, and sugar.
I was surprised to read in their request for comments Should “sugars” continue to be included in the Nutrition
Facts label? (see pg 62169 sec 10 on the right)
I thought they would be considering adding a percent daily value so people can see how quickly sugar adds up. I was hoping to also see a question about listing added sugars so people could see if a food mostly contains sugars that occur naturally, as in milk, or if they are added refined sugars.
I don’t understand the logic of removing sugars one bit. How could parents decide between different products for their kids? What about diabetics who are reading food labels to make decisions about what to eat? What about people who just want to watch sugar intake?
I also find it strange that the FDA refers to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans repeatedly in their Federal Register. But they neglect to mention that the 2005 Guidelines lumps sugar into discretionary calories and there’s basically only room for 8 teaspoons (32g) of sugar a day if you want to stay within the calorie guidelines (2000) and still get the other recommended nutrients.
Yet, they are asking if they should remove sugar altogether at a time when Type II diabetes is on the rise, especially among youth? Hmmmm…
If the FDA wants to make a more consumer-friendly nutrition facts label, it needs to clean up the confusion around carbohydrates. I do believe they are making an attempt to do that in another question (see pg 62169 sec 10 on the right) where they ask if carbohydrates should be listed based on their physiologic effects on the body. But consumers deserve to know which sugars are added in processing and which sugars occur naturally, as in fruit or milk. The FDA does not ask about listing added sugars on the Federal Register, which is a mistake.
Let’s hope we don’t end up with a food label that doesn’t tell consumer how much sugar is in the product.