Statement on Final Updates to Nutrition Facts Label by William Dietz, Obesity, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Expert

Media Contact: Sarah Baldauf, sbaldauf@gwu.edu and Kathleen Fackelmann, kfackelmann@gwu.edu, 202-994-8354

WASHINGTON, DC (May 20, 2016)—Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced final updates to the nutrition facts label, which appears on nearly all food and beverage packaging in the United States. The nutrition facts label is intended to help consumers make informed decisions about food and healthy eating.
 
In response, the following statement was released by William Dietz, MD, PhD, Chair and Director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University:
 

Information is power, and the updates to the nutrition facts label represent sound public health policy with the potential to move Americans toward better health.

Highlighting ‘added sugars’ – not just total sugar content – on the nutrition facts label will tell a mom or dad making choices at the grocery store exactly how much extra sweetener has been put into a food or drink by the manufacturer.  With this new information on the label, I hope that parents and other consumers will begin purchasing healthier products with less sugar, which will prompt reformulation of products to contain less sugar. 

The stakes are high: Sugar consumption is helping drive growing rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It is also linked to cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and dental caries.

The updates to serving sizes are also important. For example, people usually drink a full 20 oz. bottle of soda or eat a whole snack sized bag of cookies, both of which represent more than one serving. The updated serving sizes will be easier to understand and will reflect actual consumption behavior – proving more useful in making healthier eating decisions.

Read Dr. William Dietz’s Huffington Post blog on the new nutrition facts label here: Transparency Trumps Sugar: the New Nutrition Label and the Fight Against Obesity

Dr. William Dietz is available for interviews. Please contact Sarah Baldauf, sbaldauf@gwu.edu and Kathleen Fackelmann, kfackelmann@gwu.edu, 202-994-8354.
 

About the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness:  Established in 2014 and located within Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, the Redstone Center identifies effective nutrition, physical activity, and communication strategies that improve the prevention and management of obesity and other related chronic diseases. The Redstone Center is committed to reducing health inequities in the District of Columbia and beyond to promote health and improve lives.  Learn more at our website.

About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University: Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, more than 1,900 students from 54 U.S. states and territories and more than 50 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, MPH@GW, and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, MHA@GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.