Why the FDA Changed Their Sugar Policy

This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

How much sugar should you eat in a day? 

According to the FDA recommended guidelines, 12.5 teaspoons per day in the United States. However, according to this article that just went live on Medium, organizations outside the U.S. only recommend consuming six teaspoons per day (equating to less than half than the FDA's recommended sugar intake).

Are Americans following those recommended numbers? Not quite. "The average American consumes 60% more sugar than they should—and that’s based on US figures [of a recommended 12.5 teaspoons of sugar per day]."

That recommended number accounts for all sugar consumed—including natural sugars and artificial sugars. But did you know that up until now, the only sugars called out on food labels were those that were natural?

Yes, it's true. Artificial sugars were not required to be called out on food labels, and were actually hidden underneath the Total Carbohydrate count on Nutritional Facts Labels.  

Don't worry though, the FDA just passed new sugar laws that now require all companies to call out all sugars, both natural and artificial, in their labeling. This means that there's no more pretending that foods are "naturally sweet," when their derivatives come from sugar-based compounds. 

The Wall Street Journal is calling this policy change "radical."

Why? This new labeling system can show up to three times more sugar that was once otherwise hidden in the label.

So, will this policy change affect eating habits of consumers? The answer is leaning toward a hard yes.

"Nearly 8 in 10 Americans use food labels as a shopping guide. When the new labeling system goes into effect — in summer of 2018 — the impact on the food industry [and consumer purchasing habits] will be massive." 

Diya SenGupta