Mars Announces Support for "Added Sugars" Line on Nutrition Facts Panels

Statement of CSPI Health Promotion Policy Director Jim O’Hara

May 8, 2015

Consumers need to know how much added sugar is in their food and beverages to make healthy choices. The best way to do that is having an “added sugars” line on Nutrition Facts panels to distinguish those sugars from the naturally occurring sugars in fruit or milk ingredients. Good for Mars for coming out in favor of a line for added sugars on Nutrition Facts labels. Doubly good for Mars to recognize the science and support the recommendation of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that Americans limit their consumption of added sugars to 10 percent of calories, or about 12 teaspoons per day. The committee concluded that added sugars are linked to a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and tooth decay.

As the process continues, we hope Mars will show continued leadership on other reforms such as expressing added sugars in teaspoons, not just in grams.

Mars was also an important, if somewhat unlikely, ally in the fight to get junk food out of schools, and has one of the strongest policies when it comes to shielding kids from junk-food marketing. It’s refreshing to see a company like Mars showing principled leadership on this question of added sugar labeling, and we hope other companies follow its lead.

A proposed Nutrition Facts label by CSPI would include a line for "Added Sugars," among other changes.


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