Including “added sugars” as a category on the Nutrition Facts panel could prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of serious disease and save billions of dollars, according to a study by researchers at Tufts University.
The study, published in the journal of the American Heart Association, estimated the effects over 20 years of informing consumers about added sugars on food labeling. The Tufts researchers believe that the measure would cut the number of serious cardiovascular disease cases by 354,000 and of Type 2 diabetes by almost 600,000. This would save the U.S. economy some $31 billion in health care costs and double that amount in lost productivity. Most of the benefit would come because having to declare added sugar would motivate food processors to reduce or eliminate it from formulations.
The FDA issued the regulation requiring “added sugar” as a Nutrition Facts category in 2016. However, mandatory implementation was recently delayed until 2020 for large manufacturers, and 2021 for smaller ones.