New Nutrition Facts Label to be Delayed?

Then First Lady, Michelle Obama, and the Federal Drug Administration announced in March 2016 an improved version of the nutrition label that will be used on products nation-wide (The Office of the First Lady, 2016). As both a student and a public health professional, I was very excited about the change because the label is said to reflect the most current science. Most of all, the sample that the FDA produced not only included the calories, serving, and servings per container, it also included added sugars.

The pictures are found at https://goo.gl/VWphIz

Why is the inclusion of added sugars necessary? In a study by Yang et al. (2014), they found that most US adults consume more sugar than what’s recommended for a sound diet. The research also found that a strong relationship between ingesting sugar increased the risk for cardiovascular mortality (Yang et al., 2014). Some studies also point to high intake of sweetened beverages increasing risks for liver disease and gout (Bray, 2013); development of type 2 diabetes (V. S. Malik et al., 2010); and weight gain in children (Vasanti S Malik, Pan, Willett, & Hu, 2013).  On a personal note, I should have ignored the truly tasty beignets at the kitchen counter at work today. Moderation right?

The compliance date for the new label was supposed to start on July 26, 2018 (Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 2016). Most recently, the nominee for FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb indicated that he would favor delaying the labeling compliance date to coincide with the new upcoming GMO rule (CSPI, 2017). The Center for Science in the Public Interest indicated that the delay may be the result of the advocacy of the food industry (CSPI, 2017). It remains to be seen whether the new FDA commissioner will follow with the delay. What is clear however is that public health needs to implement strategies such as better labeling to ensure that the public is given a choice—to make the healthy choice, the easy choice.

What do you think? Comment below and let me know.

References

Bray, G. A. (2013). Energy and Fructose From Beverages Sweetened With Sugar or High-Fructose Corn Syrup Pose a Health Risk for Some People. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, 4(2), 220–225. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.002816

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (2016). Labeling Nutrition – Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm

CSPI. (2017). Food Industry Urges Delay of Nutrition Facts Label | Center for Science in the Public Interest. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from https://cspinet.org/news/food-industry-urges-delay-nutrition-facts-label-20170405

Malik, V. S., Pan, A., Willett, W. C., & Hu, F. B. (2013). Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in children and adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98(4), 1084–102. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.113.058362

Malik, V. S., Popkin, B. M., Bray, G. A., Despres, J.-P., Willett, W. C., & Hu, F. B. (2010). Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes: A meta-analysis. Diabetes Care, 33(11), 2477–2483. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc10-1079

The Office of the First Lady. (2016). The White House and FDA Announce Modernized Nutrition Facts Label. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/05/20/white-house-and-fda-announce-modernized-nutrition-facts-label

Yang, Q., Zhang, Z., Gregg, E. W., Flanders, W. D., Merritt, R., & Hu, F. B. (2014). Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(4), 516. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563

 

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