This labeling also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and lowers health costs.
The Food and Drug Administration, the US agency responsible for food and drug control in the United States, mandated the display of added sugars on food packaging in 2016. A team of researchers estimated the impact of this measure on long term and publishes its results in the American Heart Association journal. By 2037, this labeling will significantly reduce the number of cardiovascular patients and type 2 diabetics, while allowing significant savings on health costs.
"An effective strategy"
The researchers used a simulation tool to measure the effects of this public health measure. Between 2018 and 2037, the display of added sugars on food packaging will prevent 354,400 cases of cardiovascular disease and nearly 600,000 cases of type 2 diabetes. According to their results, $ 31 billion should be saved on health expenditure. "Food labeling can be an effective strategy to enable consumers to make an informed choice and to change their behavior in practice," says Renata Micha, one of the authors of this work.
An improvement in the composition of food
American scientists are optimistic: they believe that the obligation to report the presence of added sugars to consumers will push manufacturers to improve the composition of their products. If this hypothesis is confirmed, it could double their results: more than 700 000 cases of cardiovascular disease and 1.2 million fewer cases of type 2 diabetes.
In France, the government is also taking steps to improve food labeling: since 2016, it recommends that manufacturers use the Nutri-Score. This logo shows consumers the nutritional quality of foodstuffs. In February 2019, the deputies adopted a new law proposal: advertisements for food products will have to display the Nutri-Score.