AMA calls for front-of-package sugar warning labels

Sugar Poison. White Sugar In Form Of Skull And Crossbones.

The American Medical Association (AMA) is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require front-of-package warning labels on foods that are high in added sugars.

American Medical Association: AMA advocates for transparency in food labeling and packaging

Reuters: U.S. physicians urge FDA to bolster labeling on high-sugar foods

Food Dive: Should the FDA require front-of-package warnings about sugar?

The AMA believes Americans need to be more aware of which products contain meaningful amounts of added sugars so consumers know what packaged food to eliminate or reduce. The AMA also wants the FDA to work to minimize the amount of sugar allowed in packaged foods, although the FDA currently has no upper limit on added sugar in a product.

Albert J. Osbahr, III, M.D., a member of the AMA Board of Trustees said in an AMA press release:

The AMA believes that food packaging should include more transparent information about the contents within our food so the healthy choice can be the easy choice for consumers. When consumers have access to the amount of sugar they are consuming they may choose foods with less sugar—which can help prevent debilitating chronic medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease which affect millions of Americans.

Industry response has been quick, with stiff resistance to new sugar limits and front-of-package warnings. Sugar Association CEO Courtney Gaine declares:

Taking things a step further to include a warning label does nothing but mislead consumers because it is an idea not grounded in science and does not support FDA’s rationale for setting the daily value in the first place.

What a surprise — the sugar industry does not want more regulation designed to reduce consumption of added sugars. Large food corporations will be equally resistant to additional labels that make it harder to sell sugary food. If these recommendations were to be enacted, games will be played. If there are loopholes for sweeteners like honey or fruit concentrates, the food industry will take advantage of these alternatives to avoid a warning label that might cause a consumer to put down an unhealthy product.

The safest way to avoid over-sweetened food is to go back to real, whole foods. Processed food manufacturers cannot add sugar to a bell pepper or an egg. We have a great guide that delves more deeply into the pitfalls of the modern grocery store and how to avoid them. Take a look: Keto diet foods — Top three mistakes at the grocery store

Earlier

Coming to a store shelf near you: more confusing labels on certain edible oils

Sugar is now UK consumers’ biggest food worry

NYC Health Department is pushing companies to cut sugar

‘Action on Sugar’ calls for less sugar in the UK’s food

Sugar

3 comments

  1. Stephen
    They can’t add sugar to an egg. Maybe not at the moment, but someone is probably working on it.
  2. aams
    “Not grounded in science” ? Laughable!
  3. Paul
    I got tired of reading labels. Easier to just stick to foods that don’t require a label

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