Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association, response to the FDA’s added sugars proposal

July 24, 2015 Categories: Advisories & Comments

DALLAS, July 24, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed today to include the percent daily value for added sugars to the Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods. As it is labeled now, naturally occurring and added sugars are combined into a single listing of “total sugars.” This inclusion of the percent daily value will give people a clear and easy way to know how much sugar has been added by the manufacturer vs how much sugar is naturally occurring.

The American Heart Association applauds the FDA’s actions because it’s critical for people to be able to make the right food choices based on the best information. Unfortunately, many Americans consume more sugar than they realize. High intake of added sugars is a significant source of excess calories and is associated with higher body weight. Excess sugar consumption has also been linked with many risk factors for heart disease, including obesity, high blood pressure, inflammation and elevated triglyceride levels.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than half your daily discretionary calories. Specifically, for most American men, that means about 150 calories a day, or nine teaspoons or less. For women, it’s a smaller amount – no more than 100 calories per day from added sugar, or about six teaspoons of sugar. Yet, this can be difficult to do when added sugars are not included on the Nutrition Facts label.

The American Heart Association strongly supports the FDA’s proposal and looks forward to seeing how the requirement, once implemented, will help people make more informed and healthy decisions about the foods they eat.

For more detailed information and guidance on sugar intake limits, see the scientific statement in the August 2009 issue of Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Media Contact:  American Heart Association Communications (214) 706-1173