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ADA Applauds FDA Nutrition Label Requirements for Added Sugar

May 23, 2016

Contact Information:
Robert Raible

Washington, D.C. — ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays, D.D.S., today thanked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its decision to require that food packagers highlight added sugars on nutrition labels. The ADA urged the FDA to take this step in comments filed with the agency in 2014 and again in 2015.

“We applaud FDA for giving consumers another tool to make informed decisions about the food they eat,” said Dr. Summerhays. “For years, we’ve encouraged consumers to monitor—and minimize—their added sugar intake. Now they can do so simply by reading a nutrition label.”  

“We know that a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks can damage teeth, but unfortunately research on the sugar-caries (cavities) connection over the long-term is limited,” Dr. Summerhays said.

The ADA has called for greater scrutiny of added sugar’s effect on oral health. In lobbying Congress to provide adequate research funding for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, for instance, the ADA has cited the need to understand the effects of added sugars and other sweeteners on oral health.

“We need more data about the extent to which dental caries rates fluctuate with changes in total added sugar consumption, and over what periods of time,” Dr. Summerhays said. 

While more research is critical, the ADA believes the FDA’s recent action on food labeling will go a long way toward helping Americans monitor, and hopefully limit, the amount of added sugar they consume.

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 159,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org