PHA Supports Reducing Added Sugars Consumption

The average American consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugars per day (13% of total daily calories),* which is over 30% more added sugars than recommended for a healthy diet.** Overconsumption of foods and beverages high in added sugars is linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, in part by increasing the risk of weight gain, and can contribute to dental decay.

Foods and beverages with high concentrations of added sugars are common in the U.S. food supply, making it difficult for individuals to lower their added sugars intake and improve the nutritional quality of their diet.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently called a public meeting to cover the wide range of efforts being taken by federal agencies, communities, and private industry to reduce added sugars in the U.S. food supply and in consumer’s diets. They also invited public comments on these reduction strategies.

Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) vision is to transform the food system in pursuit of health equity. We believe that everyone in every zip code should have access to food that is affordable, sustainable, nutritious, high-quality, and culturally connected. We support the FDA and USDA’s Strategies to Reduce Added Sugars Consumption in the United States.

In PHA’s comment, we recommend five critical actions for the FDA and USDA to reduce added sugars consumption across the U.S. population:

  1. Establish added sugars reduction targets for packaged and restaurant foods and beverages [FDA]
  2. Mandate interpretive, nutrient-specific front-of-package nutrition labels for packaged foods and beverages [FDA]
  3. Mandate added sugars disclosure at restaurants [FDA]
  4. Update sugars standards for foods and beverages offered in schools and child and adult care settings [USDA]
  5. Ensure that foods and beverages with low- and no-calorie sweeteners are safe for human consumption [FDA, USDA]

There are several opportunities for action by federal agencies to reduce added sugars consumption in the U.S. We urge the FDA and USDA to act quickly on these recommendations to ensure a safe U.S. food supply with reduced added sugars and to enable consumers to access the information they need to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

Click here to read the full comment.

*U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Food Patterns Equivalents Intakes from Food: Mean Amounts Consumed per Individual, by Gender and Age, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2017-March 2020 Prepandemic. 2023.

**USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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