FDA Proposes Food Labels Include Added Sugars Daily Percent

With obesity on the rise, bringing with it an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions, food labels may soon get a facelift.

With obesity on the rise, bringing with it an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions, food labels may soon get a facelift.

It is recommended that no more than 10% of daily calorie intake should be from added sugars. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed that food labels should include the daily percentage of those added sugars. Currently, food labels are only required to list the percent value for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, calcium, and iron.

“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,” Susan Mayne, PhD, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a news release.

This proposal follows an FDA recommendation in March 2014 advising food companies to include added sugars on labels; however, this most recent report pushes for the percent daily value as well. The update was suggested after scientific data was provided in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC).

In addition, changes to the labeling would help consumers understand the meaning of “percent daily value.” If accepted, food labels would be shorter and provide more space for nutrition information by simply stating:

“*The percent daily value (%DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”

The FDA will welcome public comment on the matter in 75 days and will reopen comments for the March 2014 proposal for 60 days. If the recommendations follow through then they may have a positive impact on sugar-influenced conditions such as acne and heart disease.

“The FDA has a responsibility to give consumers the information they need to make informed dietary decisions for themselves and their families,” Mayne said.