Posted April 22, 2014
Mexico’s new food labeling rules were intended to fight obesity, but some say they may increase sugar intake, according to an article by the Associated Press available here. The Miami Herald also published the story here.
The new labeling rules list the amount of sugar as a percent of recommended daily intake rather than weights of the ingredients.
While the World Health Organization has proposed a sugar intake of 100 calories or 25 grams per day, Mexico’s labeling rules “assume that an average acceptable daily consumption of sugar is about 360 calories, equivalent to about 90 grams of sugar.”
The labeling rules prompted nearly three dozen public health and nutrition experts to publish a full-page ad in Mexican newspapers Monday saying the new rules “increase the risk of obesity and diabetes.” The ad also said the labeling system “is difficult to understand and represents and serious risk to the health of Mexicans.”
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, almost one-third of adults in Mexico are obese and seven out of ten are overweight, mostly due to a diet high in fat and sugar.
Mexican lawmakers approved taxes on junk food and soft drinks last year in an effort to fight obesity.
For more information on food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.