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Include 'added sugars' in overhaul of Canada's food labels

March 14, 2016

Canada's overhaul of food labels should include a separate 'added sugar' column to help Canadians manage their sugar intake and be in line with US standards, states a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

In June 2015, Canada proposed a redesign -- the first in nearly 15 years -- of the nutrition label that is mandatory on almost all prepackaged foods. Rather than include separate information for added sugars, as requested by Canadians, the final proposal recommended the inclusion of a benchmark for total sugars, which includes naturally occurring sugars such as those in fruit.

"By not including added sugars on nutrition labels, it will be difficult to compare intakes in Canada and other countries, to monitor national intake trends over time and to assess industry's reformulation efforts," write Jodi Bernstein and Mary L'Abbé, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

With the new federal government, it is an opportune time to alter the nutrition label regulations to include added sugars, as Canadians have requested.

Canadian Medical Association Journal

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