Sugar and artificial sweeteners are common ingredients in a multitude of foods. We all know that we need to avoid them. However, it is hard to avoid something you can't see. The FDA is trying to change food labeling laws to make added sugar more visible. This is a change that would give consumers information to make healthy choices. It includes white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and fructose. Almost everything we eat has some form of sugar in it. Many of the foods that we consider to be healthy choices have quite a lot of sugar in them. This includes such things as yogurt with fruit or low fat salad dressings.
I'm not here today to discuss which sweeteners are better for you. I'm not here to condemn white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Furthermore, I'm not suggesting that we get rid of all sugar. I'm advocating that we give consumers information and allow them to choose. I could have titled this blog "Sugar, sugar where art thou?" but the answer is everywhere. Sugar is needed in bread for the yeast to rise correctly. It is added to ketchup and no one would eat ice cream that didn't have sugar or some other sweetener. However, with the proposed labeling, I can line up 3 loaves of bread and see which one has the least added sugar. I can then choose for myself how much of added sugar I want in my diet. When combined with current labeling, I can also choose which sugars I want added to my food.
The food industry is fighting this proposal. They don't want us to see how many grams of sugar are in ketchup, or yogurt with fruit. They know Americans have a love affair with sweet foods. However, we also have an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. I know that parents want to make the right choices. Give us the tools we need to fight back. Support the FDA in this labeling proposal.