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New nutrition fact label is a 'victory for consumers'

UC ANR nutrition expert Patricia Crawford counted the raisins in a cup of Raisin Bran to calculate the amount of added sugar. With the new labels, counting raisins won't be necessary. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
In two years time, the ubiquitous nutrition facts label found on packaged foods will differentiate between natural sugar and added sugar, reported Tara Duggan in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"It's a victory for consumers. The impact is going to be incredible," said Pat Crawford, director of research at UC ANR's Nutrition Policy Institute. "It's something in the nutrition field we've waited for years and years: to educate the public on how absolutely critical added sugar is and about the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and dental caries."

The nutrition label changes were unveiled last week by First Lady Michelle Obama. The new label has bigger and bolder calorie information. It shows the amount of "total sugar" and below that, it shows "added sugars." The article gave an example of vanilla yogurt. On the current nutrition facts label, a consumer can see how much sugar it contains, but doesn't know how much of the sugar is from natural lactose in the milk and how much added.

Crawford noticed how hard it is to figure out when a friend asked how much added sugar was in Raisin Bran.

"I poured out a cup of cereal. I counted the raisins," Crawford said. She subtracted the amount of natural sugar in the raisins from total sugar listed on the nutrition facts label to determine the amount of added sugar.

 

Posted on Monday, May 23, 2016 at 11:29 AM

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