US nutrition label revisions to require "added sugars" info

Revisions to long-standing nutrition labels on food will including listing "added sugars," in changes that US authorities said are intended to reflect up-to-date knowledge of both nutrition and behaviour.

The new label lists sugars in greater detail to include added sugars in grams, as well as the percentage of the recommended daily value in a 2,000-calorie diet.

"Studies have shown that healthy dietary patterns that include lower amounts of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages are strongly associated with reduced cardiovascular disease," the US Food and Drug Administration said on its website.

The label revisions must be in place by July 2018 for most food manufacturers.

"This is not about telling people what they should eat," the FDA said. "It's about making sure that they know what they're eating. With that knowledge, they can make more healthful choices."

Typographical changes on the revised labels include a much larger, bold-faced total of calories per serving.

First Lady Michelle Obama, leading a health event Friday in Washington, said she was "thrilled" by the changes, including the larger print on the calorie count "so you can actually see it."

Childhood health and nutrition has been one of her major interests during her husband's two terms in office. Obama has even planted a family garden on the White House grounds to encourage children to eat vegetables.

Vitamin D and potassium will be required on the label, while vitamins A and C will change from mandatory to voluntary listing.

Serving sizes for some packaging will be increased to more realistically reflect how people consume food and beverages.

"The serving sizes are more realistic. And, most important of all, this label will tell you how much sugar in your snack was added during processing, and how much of it comes from ingredients like fruit," Obama said.

"Very soon you will no longer need a microscope, a calculator, or a degree in nutrition to figure out whether the food you're buying is actually good for our kids."

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25

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