The ‘Add sugar’ label on food can save many lives
MONDAY, April 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) – A new Nutrition Facts label highlighting additional sugar in foods can prevent nearly 1 million cases of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, one study New rescue shows.
The new brand, first proposed by the US Food and Drug Administration in May 2016, added a new line in the list of total carbohydrates detailing the amount of sugar added at the beginning of the road in one food product.
If consumers have access to the new label, choosing their food can prevent more than 350,000 cases of heart disease and nearly 600,000 cases of type 2 diabetes in the next two decades, researchers Save prediction using computer models.
This will save the United States $ 31 billion in health care costs and $ 62 billion in productivity and other social costs, senior researcher Renata Micha said. She is an associate professor of research at the School of Policy and Nutrition Science at Tufts University, Boston.
These effects may be even stronger if the Nutrition Information label reminds food producers to reduce the amount of sugar they add to the product, Micha said.
“If this added sugar label motivates the food industry to reform even a portion of its products for less sugar, these health and financial benefits will double, which is a factor. amazing, “Micha said.
The researchers said in the notes that added sugars accounted for more than 15% of the total daily calories of Americans, exceeding the recommended level of less than 10%.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may find it difficult to recognize additional lines by looking at the list of ingredients on the label.
Brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, milk sugar, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar and sucrose are some In many different ingredients add sugar to food, CDC notes.
To make things simpler for consumers, FDA has proposed a new line on the Nutrition Information label that incorporates all these additional sugar sources. This line will note the amount of sugar grams added and the percentage of them contributing to the average daily calorie of an average person.
Unfortunately, the FDA has delayed the label implementation until 2020, Micha said.
“What these results tell us is that it needs to be done in time,” Micha said.
In this study, Micha and her colleagues used an authentic model that takes a lot of information into account – including demographics, risk factors, dietary habits and illness – to predict the impact of the revised Nutrition Information label on consumer food choices, their long-term health, and the economic cost of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Previous studies have shown that better information will help consumers make smarter food choices, Micha and her team said. For example, labeling trans fat makes people avoid these very unhealthy high-fat products, which has prompted the food industry to remove them from products.
Dr. Reshmi Srinath, director of the Metabolism and Weight Management Program of Mount Sinai, in New York City, hopes the same thing will happen if people have better information about additional sugar.
“In my experience, people are now more aware of their sugar, are looking at food labels and want to make healthier choices. Clear labeling of sugar content is very important. important in helping people make the right choices, “said Srinath, assistant professor. with Icahn Medical School at Mount Sinai.
Micha said the most striking finding from the study came when researchers predicted what could happen if the food industry reacted to the new label by reducing the amount of sugar added in the food industry. product.
Even a partial industrial response could lead to about 700,000 fewer heart disease cases and 1.2 million cases of type 2 diabetes in the next 20 years, the model suggests.
“Industry should be part of the solution,” Micha said. “We saw when we made even a modest industrial reform, the maximum health and economic benefits can be achieved.”
New research published April 15 in Circulation magazine.