Revised sugar labeling needed to protect consumers, says scientist

May 30, 2012, Yale University

(Medical Xpress) -- Noting that consumers have little guidance to help them make informed choices about added sugar, Yale Rudd Center researcher Jennifer Pomeranz contends that putting more information about sugar on food packages is necessary, achievable, and overdue, in a paper published in First Look of the American Journal of Public Health.

Pomeranz, the Rudd Center’s director of legal initiatives, says that the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations are outdated and need to be reanalyzed given several important developments — including strong recommendations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Heart Association to limit added sugar consumption; scientific studies indicating that high intake of added sugar has a negative impact on health and overall diet quality; and the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that the FDA consider added sugar in a front-of-package labeling system.

The FDA’s previous reluctance requiring manufacturers to disclose sugar and added sugar on their products packaging is based on outdated science and obsolete concerns, argues Pomeranz, noting that regulations in the area of food allergens and tobacco labeling have been successfully enacted amid these same concerns.

Further, she says, added sugar detection has a rich scientific history that is evolving to enable the FDA to test sugar-related claims on packaging. Pomeranz also contends that there should be a disqualifying level of added sugar in products for manufacturers to be able make health claims. Currently, she adds, many products high in added sugar have cartoon characters on the packaging to entice children and health claims to appease parents.

Increased labeling requirements, she suggests, can also lead to innovation and would likely encourage positive reformulation due to increased competition among companies trying to create and market products with less added sugar.  

“The American Heart Association, the USDA, and the World Health Organization have issued strong standards that can guide the government.  There are no longer any viable reasons to maintain outdated nutrition labeling standards for sugar,” states Pomeranz.

Explore further: Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages could yield sweet results

Related Stories

Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages could yield sweet results

May 13, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages a penny-per-ounce could reduce consumption and generate significant revenue, finds a study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University and the Bridging ...

FDA adds new safety information to statin drugs

February 28, 2012
(AP) -- Federal health officials are adding new safety warnings about risks of memory loss and elevated blood sugar to statins, a widely prescribed group of cholesterol-lowering medications.

Big Corn, Big Sugar in bitter US row on sweetener

December 17, 2011
Big Corn and Big Sugar are locked in a legal and public relations fight in the US over a plan to change the name of a corn-based sweetener that has gotten a bad name.

Recommended for you

Air pollution may shorten telomeres in newborns

January 24, 2018
A study conducted before and after the 2004 closure of a coal-burning power plant in Tongliang, China, found children born before the closure had shorter telomeres than those conceived and born after the plant stopped polluting ...

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

January 23, 2018
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.