Re "A mixed bag of food labels," Editorial, Feb. 28
Contrary to The Times' editorial on the Food and Drug Administration's proposed new label requirements for packaged foods, the inclusion of added sugars represents a positive shift toward providing consumers with the information they need to make healthier purchases.
Foods heavy in added sugars often have a low nutritional profile. The Times notes that the body responds to added and natural sugars in the same way, but too many added sugars mean more empty calories and less nutrition.
The FDA is hardly going out on a limb here: The Department of Agriculture's 2010 dietary guidelines urge Americans to reduce their intake of calories from added sugars. That's much harder to do if people don't know how much added sugar is in their food.
This information will make it easier for Americans to navigate the grocery aisle with their health in mind. It is an important step in the right direction to bring more transparency to consumers about what is in their food.
Roberts is the executive director of UCLA Law School's Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, where Kessler is the policy and special programs director.