Berry Frugo's and Apricot Delight packets next to a teaspoon of sugar cubes.
 
 
 
 
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Have your say on sugar

If you want to improve added sugar labelling, tell us which options you prefer (tick as many as you like).

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Take action on added sugar

Food companies don't have to label the amount of added sugar in their products. This makes it nearly impossible to work out how much added sugar is in everyday food and drinks.

But this could all change. Food and Health Ministers across Australia have agreed that labelling of sugar is an issue. To fix this, they've released 7 potential options which range from the status quo to sugar warning labels. 

Can you tell us which option you think will make it easier to work out how much sugar is in your food?

What changes do we want?

We want people to be able to clearly identify the amount of added sugar in their food and drinks. The three main changes we want to see are:

Teaspoons

Show the number of teaspoons of sugar in sugar-sweetened drinks.

Ingredients list

Make it easy to spot added sugar in the ingredients list.

Nutrition panel

Include added sugar in the nutrition information panel.

FAQs

  1. No change to labels - the status quo
  2. No change to labels - education on how to read and interpret labelling information about sugars
  3. Clearer labelling of added sugar in the ingredient list
  4. Including added sugars in the Nutrition Information Panel
  5. Warning labels for foods high in added sugar
  6. A picture on the label that shows the amount of teaspoons in the product
  7. No change to labels - digital options to access information about added sugar content.
More information on these options can be found on the consultation page.

In Australia, food labels will only tell you the total sugar in a product, not the added stuff. And you can’t rely on the ingredient list because there are over 43 different names for added sugar.

It’s essential that people can easily tell the difference between foods with naturally occurring sugars, like lactose in yoghurt, and added sugars which have virtually no nutritional benefits. Currently this is almost impossible.

The World Health Organization and our Dietary Guidelines recommend we reduce our added sugar intake on the basis that overconsumption of added sugars presents serious health issues.

A CHOICE investigation found that added sugar labelling could help consumers avoid 26 teaspoons of unnecessary sugar per day – that’s up to 38 kilograms a year!

At their most recent meeting, Food Ministers renewed their commitment to improve the health of Australians. They want to help people make healthy food choices, and sugar labelling is a necessary step to achieving this.

A recent CHOICE investigation found that sugar can be found in supposedly 'healthy' foods. A healthy-sounding claim on the label, or a position on a shelf in the supermarket's health food aisle, may give the impression that a product is healthy. But it's certainly no guarantee that it won't be loaded with added sugar. We delved into what was really in three products that appear to be good for you.

 

 

Download our report

End the sugar-coating: A CHOICE report into added sugar labelling in Australia

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