The Bittersweet Truth About Sugar Labeling Regulations: They Are Achievable and Overdue

Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8369, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 05/2012; 102(7):e14-20. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300732
Source: PubMed


The recent Institute of Medicine recommendation to the Food and Drug Administration to include added sugar in a new front-of-package system provides new justification for reviewing outdated regulations pertinent to sugar and analyzing whether the government's previous resistance to sugar labeling remains valid given new and robust science. I have provided an overview of US sugar consumption, its public health implications, and the science related to added sugar detection. I reviewed US and international sugar intake recommendations and suggested revised regulations to better inform and protect consumers. I concluded by noting new directions in the area of sugar research for future public health policy.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source

    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · JAMA Internal Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An objective measure of added sugar (AS) and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is needed. The δ(13)C value of finger-stick blood is a novel validated biomarker of AS/SSB intake; however, nonsweetener corn products and animal protein also carry a δ(13)C value similar to AS sources, which may affect blood δ(13)C values. The δ(15)N value of blood has been proposed as a "correction factor" for animal protein intake. The objectives were to 1) identify foods associated with δ(13)C and δ(15)N blood values, 2) determine the contribution of nonsweetener corn to the diet relative to AS intake, and 3) determine if the dual-isotope model (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) is a better predictor of AS/SSB intake than δ(13)C alone. A cross-sectional sample of southwest Virginian adults (n = 257; aged 42 ± 15 y; 74% overweight/obese) underwent dietary intake assessments and provided finger-stick blood samples, which were analyzed for δ(13)C and δ(15)N values by using natural abundance stable isotope mass spectrometry. Statistical analyses included ANOVAs, paired-samples t tests, and multiple linear regressions. The mean ± SD daily AS intake was 88 ± 59 g and nonsweetener corn intake was 13 ± 13 g. The mean δ(13)C value was -19.1 ± 0.9‰, which was significantly correlated with AS and SSB intakes (r = 0.32 and 0.39, respectively; P ≤ 0.01). The δ(13)C value and nonsweetener corn intake and the δ(15)N value and animal protein intake were not correlated. AS intake was significantly greater than nonsweetener corn intake (mean difference = 76.2 ± 57.2 g; P ≤ 0.001). The δ(13)C value was predictive of AS/SSB intake (β range: 0.28-0.35; P ≤ 0.01); however, δ(15)N was not predictive and minimal increases in R(2) values were observed when the δ(15)N value was added to the model. The data do not provide evidence that the dual-isotope method is superior for predicting AS/SSB intakes within a southwest Virginian population. Our results support the potential of the δ(13)C value of finger-stick blood to serve as an objective measure of AS/SSB intake. This trial was registered at as NCT02193009. © 2015 American Society for Nutrition.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Nutrition
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2012, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 78 million Americans were considered obese, with a body mass index > 30. Americans, on average, consume 80 pounds of sugar annually. Sugar is converted through metabolism into advanced glycation end-products, which are linked to worse health outcomes in hospitalized patients. In this article we review the different types of sugar typically consumed by Americans and its deleterious effects on human health.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · The Journal for Nurse Practitioners
Show more