the sugar association

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to an announcement made by the American Medical Association to create front-of-package food warning labels that would mislead consumers, the Sugar Association President and CEO Courtney Gaine PhD, RD, issued the following statement:

“The new nutrition facts label will now include added sugars, giving consumers the access to the amount of added sugars in each serving of a food and beverage they need in order to follow the Dietary Guidelines. 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. The fact is that FDA did not set the Daily Value as an upper level above which there is an adverse health outcome; rather FDA says it was set, ‘because it is difficult to get the nutrients you need for good health while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total calories from added sugar.’

“It is concerning that the United States’ premier medical association would push forward a concept that lacks scientific evidence – there is no direct link between sugar intake and cardiovascular disease or diabetes.1,2,3 We are very concerned that such a warning label would lead consumers to believe that consuming above 50 grams of sugar per day (the Daily Value) would result in an adverse health outcome. Furthermore, this is a huge step backwards for nutrition education in rehashing the concept of a single-nutrient focus that has harmed this field and made no headway in the health of the public. Haven’t we learned from the demonization of cholesterol in the 80s and fat in the 90s?”

“We also question the actual need for a scare-tactics warning label. The fact is that Americans’ consumption of added sugars has declined consistently since 2000. A warning label such as that proposed by the American Medical Association perpetuates a misconception, is not grounded in science, and would be misleading.”

1 Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. Carbohydrates and Health. UK: The Stationery Office Limited (TSO); 2015.

2 Diabetes Myths. American Diabetes Association. Updated August 15, 2015. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/myths/

3 Kahn R, Sievenpiper J. Dietary sugar and body weight: Have we reached a crisis in the epidemic of obesity and diabetes? Diabetes Care. 2014;36:957-962.

 

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The Sugar Association, founded in 1943, is the scientific voice of the U.S. sugar industry. The association is committed to making a difference by continuously supporting scientific research and sharing its knowledge that there’s more to sugar by increasing consumer understanding of and confidence in the role that sugar plays in a nutritious, balanced and enjoyable diet. The Sugar Association represents nearly 12,000 beet and cane sugar growers, as well as processors and refiners of sugar. The U.S. sugar industry generates 142,000 jobs in 22 states and contributes $20 billion to the economy annually. For more information, visit www.sugar.org, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on Facebook.

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