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Translation and Implementation of Added Sugars Consumption Recommendations: A Conference Report from the American Heart Association Added Sugars Conference 2010

Van Horn L, et al, on behalf of the Added Sugars Conference Planning Group. Circulation. 2010;122:00-00.

A 2-day forum was convened to (1) discuss ways to translate the 2009 American Heart Association added sugars recommendations into action in areas such as regulation, food labeling, nutrient content claims, and practical application in the American diet; (2) review surveillance methodology and metrics for tracking and understanding the impact of reducing added sugars in the diet; and (3) initiate the development of a framework for future collaboration to help Americans implement science-based guidance relative to added sugars.

Pages 7-8 of the report review findings from the literature on consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and health, including the relationship to diabetes risk. 

The report concluded that reducing consumption of added sugars is a good target for addressing obesity, along with other sources of excess calories. However, the potential unintended consequences of substituting added sugars with ingredients that may not reduce calories, and of increasing other macronutrients or food groups that may not result in a net health gain must be considered. Although there are many challenges to incorporating added sugars to the food label, disclosure of added sugar content on food and beverage labels is an essential element in consumer education and can provide the information and motivation for making healthier food choices. Moving forward, the AHA will lead efforts to achieve positive changes through:

  • Raising awareness across all segments of the public and providing effective choice-making tools.
  • Working with the industry to improve access to healthier choices for a comparable price at point-of-purchase.
  • Taking the charge to change the food supply through voluntary agreements.
  • Implementing policy priorities that concentrate on food labeling, nutrition standards in schools, government feeding programs and foods and beverages marketed and advertised to children, and procurement strategies.

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