Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label
In May 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that new changes will be implemented for the ubiquitous nutritional label that many consumers rely on when assessing the nutritional content of the food they find at the store. The biggest change incorporated into this new label is that it will now include a separate line that indicates added sugar (in grams) as well as the percentage of “daily value” of sugar that nutritionists and health experts have determined to be acceptable as part of a healthy diet.
By updating the nutrition label, the FDA is making a clear statement that consumers need to know how much sugar they are consuming on a daily basis. In many cases, seemingly healthful foods are loaded with complex sugars, which can contribute to juvenile diabetes, obesity, and a litany of other health problems that are worrisome to individuals and place a significant burden on the North American healthcare system as a whole. Furthermore, as the FDA describes: “Scientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar.” The public needs to know this information, and the increased transparency provided by the new nutritional label is an excellent step toward consumer education.
At the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM), a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), our Diplomates strongly support any measure that seeks to help increase the overall healthfulness of the general public. One of the tenets of Integrative Medicine is to identify ways to improve the body, mind, and spirit of the patient, and this often entails taking a long hard look at their diet. By making relatively minor adjustments to daily consumption – limiting the intake of added sugars, for example – many patients find they feel healthier day to day, and are also less prone to the onset of avoidable diseases.
To learn more about how nutrition can impact your overall health and wellness, speak with an Integrative Medicine physician in your community. To determine if your physician is certified through the ABOIM, click here to visit our online verification portal. Integrative Medicine specialists interested in pursuing certification are also welcome to contact us to learn about our eligibility requirements. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®