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New Sugar Label: The FDA Aims to Decrease Heart Disease, Diabetes

Poor diets can lead to some of the deadliest diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which were responsible for over 715,000 deaths in 2016. Both of these diseases are preventable and can possibly be reversed.

Poor diets often result from unhealthy lifestyle choices, like inactivity and a large sugar consumption, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has decided to change nutrition labels in order to address this issue.

New sugar label

In 2016. the FDA updated  nutrition labels with added sugar content on packaged food and drinks. The new label will go into effect January 1, 2020 for most food manufacturers, then 2021 for the other, smaller companies.

According to a study done by Tufts University, the label update will not only help but could also impact Americans’ health in the long run.

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The study

Researchers looked at the effects of updating food labels with added sugar content and found that the effect on the industry was reformulation of products with fewer added sugars.

During the years 2018-2037, there will be 354,000 cases of heart disease and 599,300 cases of diabetes that could be prevented by the new added sugars label, according to the study.

In addition, the researchers found that the update could save $31 billion in healthcare costs.

The number of cases prevented would grow higher if the food and beverage companies reformulate their food and drinks to have less added sugar.

FDA recommendations

Most Americans consume at least 300 calories from added sugars each day despite the FDA advising consumption to only be around 30 calories of added sugars. It is important to read the nutrition labels on your food and beverages to keep track of your sugar intake, and the updated labels will make this easier and keep you healthier.