The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed that companies be required to state the amount of added sugar in their products as a percentage of the recommended daily calorie intake. This information would be part of the Nutrition Facts label that appears on virtually all foods.
The FDA proposed adding information about added sugars to the Nutrition Facts label last year, but it did not require companies to declare the amount of sugar as a percentage of the average daily calorie intake.
The current recommendation on sugars is that that the daily intake of calories from sugars should not exceed 10% of total calories.
"The percent daily value shows how much a nutrient in a food contributes to a daily diet and would help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families," according to a statement issued by the FDA. The changed move would help consumers better understand how the sugar in their food contributes to the total calories they consume each day.
The FDA hopes to partner with other federal agencies on educating consumers on the distinction between total sugar and added sugar, since both types of sugar will be on the label, said Susan Mayne, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA. Total sugar in a product includes the sugars that are naturally occurring in the ingredients as well as sugars that are added to foods during the product's processing or preparation.
The current label requires the percent daily value to be listed for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, calcium, and iron.
The Sugar Association issued a statement saying that the FDA's assertions on added sugars are not supported by adequate scientific evidence. "The fact is that the preponderance of science and the data on caloric sweeteners do not support a suggested limit on sugars intake," the industry group said.