Just Say No to Added Sugar, Yes to Petition

With the focus in recent years on reducing the fat infoods, it seems no one has noticed the surge in sugar in many products. Whileresearchers have yet to find a direct link between sugars and diseases otherthan dental cavities, eating a lot of sugary foods can crowd more nutritiousfoods out of the diet.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new DietaryGuidelines even urge consumers to “limit intake of beverages and foods thatare high in added sugars.” Yet current labeling regulations make itimpossible to differentiate what is added from what is present naturally.

Take a container of fruit yogurt, for example. Aneight-ounce serving of Dannon Strawberry Banana Yogurt contains 34 grams ofsugar according to the label. Some of that comes from naturally occurring milksugar (lactose) and some from naturally occurring fruit sugar (fructose), butquite a bit is added sugar. You just have no way of knowing how much, becausemanufacturers don’t have to list added sugars separately from naturallyoccurring sugars.

EN wholeheartedly backsclear nutrition labeling of how much sugar is added to foods so consumers canlimit their sugar intake. A petition filed by the consumer advocacy group Centerfor Science in the Public Interest would require such labeling and also requeststhat the Food and Drug Administration set a Daily Value of 40 grams for addedsugars. You can view the petition at www.cspinet.org.

EN urges readers to backthis petition by submitting written comments by September 25 to: DocketsManagement Branch (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane,Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit via e-mail to: fdadockets@oc.fda.gov.Specify Docket No. 99P-2630.

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