FDA targets sugar in new labeling rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it would update guidelines for nutritional labels on packaged food and beverages to include information on added sugar and to prominently display calorie count and servings.

The move comes at a time the United States is staring at increasing childhood and adult obesity and lifestyle diseases such as heart problems.

The FDA said on Friday that the modified guidelines, which companies would have to adopt within two years, would help consumers “make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families.” (1.usa.gov/1ODAIin)

“What and how much people eat and drink has changed since the last serving size requirements were published in 1993,” the FDA said.

Currently, companies are required to provide details on the total amount of sugar in a product. Under the modified guidelines, they will have to break down details on the amount of added sugar such as corn syrup and white and brown sugar.

Information about “Calories from Fat” will be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount, the FDA said.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of U.S. adults are obese.

First Lady Michelle Obama, who has used her White House position to launch the “Let’s Move” campaign to fight childhood obesity, had called for the changes two years ago.

(Reporting by Dipika Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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