There have been several attempts by health professionals to prove exactly how much sugar we are consuming on a daily basis. Jamie Oliver, a famous chef, is an advocate for informing families, and often speaks out about the issues we overlook in our diets. We are being increasingly aware of what we put into our bodies, and as this movement is happening, companies are realizing that they need to be more honest in their labeling if they want consumers to still buy their products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new nutrition label that will inform consumers better of how much sugar they are actually consuming.
The New Nutrition Label
This new label will highlight the amount of sugar in a product, specifically showcasing the amount of added sugars separate from the amount of total sugars. Companies are not only to be more forthcoming with this information, but they are also now required to show the amount of sugars in a percent daily value, as the rest of the label does. Susan Mayne, Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, puts this into perspective for us on the FDA’s website, telling us that, “a consumer who drinks a 20-ounce sugared beverage may be surprised to know it contains about 66 grams of added sugar, which would be listed on the label as 132 percent of the Daily Value.” When you first see the 66, you don’t think it’s that much, but when it’s compared to your daily intake at 132 percent, that’s much more than you originally thought.
Ideal Consumption Percentages
Each nutrition label separates the ingredients of a product in a percentage known as your daily caloric intake. Heath officials recommend a normal person should be living off of a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Based on that number, 55 grams of sugar should the maximum amount of sugar a person has in a day. If you’re curious to see a visual aid on how much sugar you are consuming with your daily soda and pop tart breakfast, Sugar Stacks has you covered.
The Effects of Too Much Sugar
We all know at the extreme end of the spectrum, an over consumption of sugar can lead to diabetes and obesity, but how else is it harmful? Given that diabetes and obesity both directly affect the heart, we can conclude that sugar leads to the damage of that muscle. However, a 2013 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that sugar actually affects the pumping mechanism of the heart. A 2008 study also showed us that excess sugar consumption was linked to leptin resistance. Leptin is a natural hormone that is released when we are full to let us know it’s time to stop eating, but when a person suffers from leptin resistance, their body simply does not produce this chemical and therefore has no signal to let them know they are full.
There are also natural sugars that occur in your fruits and vegetables, and people don’t necessarily take those into account either. Sugar can be okay in moderation, but it’s hard to monitor if we don’t know exactly how much sugar we are consuming from these products. This new nutrition label will help consumers to better understand just how much sugar they are putting into their body when they drink that soda, or eat that candy bar or bag of chips.