Contact: Jess Berthold, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-200-5358 (cell)
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama announced changes to the Nutrition Facts label. For the first time, Nutrition Facts will include grams of added sugars and the percent daily value of added sugars, and require portion sizes to more accurately reflect how people consume packaged foods.
“The science on sugar is clear: added sugars are key drivers of diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, and other chronic diseases -- all preventable. The new Nutrition Facts label creates transparency around added sugars, and that’s powerful,” PI’s Juliet Sims, MPH, RD, said.
“For the first time ever, we’ll be able to see clearly just how much sugar is added to processed foods, especially foods marketed to our kids. I think people will be stunned, but -- most importantly -- people will finally have the information they need to make decisions for their families and to speak up for broader changes in the kinds of food that are marketed and sold in their communities.”
This move comes at a time when added sugars are facing unprecedented public scrutiny -- as increased concern about diabetes and other sugar-related chronic diseases leads to a sense of urgency and elevates the value of policies like soda taxes (which are on the ballot in cities across the country this November) and local ordinances to place warning labels on sugary drinks.
Unfortunately, the sugar, food, and beverage industries are lobbying hard against efforts to reduce added sugar consumption and increase transparency around labeling, out of fear that it will give momentum to grassroots movements against sugary drinks and junk food marketing to kids.
Importantly, clear labeling of added sugars will make it easier to set health-promoting nutrition standards for schools, child care settings, and other government nutrition and food service programs.
“For decades, we’ve had to work around the fact that we don’t know how much added sugar we’re dealing with,” Sims said. “So many institutions that provide meals and snacks to children and communities, such as schools, daycares and workplaces, want to support health. These new labels will make providing healthy food that much easier.”
If you’d like to speak to Juliet about the new FDA label changes, please call Jess at 215-200-5358.
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Prevention Institute is an Oakland, California-based nonprofit research, policy, and action center that works nationally to promote prevention, health, and equity by fostering community and policy change so that all people live in healthy, safe environments.