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FDA Proposes Daily Value for Added Sugars on Nutrition Facts Labels

Statement of CSPI Health Promotion Policy Director Jim O’Hara

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The Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to include a percent Daily Value for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts panel is a major public health victory that would greatly benefit consumers. Like the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the FDA has reviewed the science and concluded that 12 teaspoons of added sugar a day should be the basis for the percent Daily Value. It’s about time consumers knew that a 20-ounce soda has 130 percent of the added sugars they should consume each day.

CSPI will continue to urge the FDA to require that the amount of sugar be expressed in teaspoons, as well as grams. National polls—including those conducted by CSPI that will be submitted for the record—demonstrate the obvious: consumers understand teaspoons far better than grams and strongly prefer that amounts of added sugars be listed in teaspoons.

This proposal, now subject to a 75-day comment period, is solidly grounded in the science as shown by the DGAC’s comprehensive review of the literature. FDA’s research makes it clear that this will benefit consumers as the percent Daily Values for other nutrients on the panel already do.

Added sugars, especially in beverages, have been found to increase the risks of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, including 25,000 deaths annually in the United States due to sugar drinks alone, according to a recent international study

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).