The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed including the percent daily value (%DV) for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods, giving consumers additional information for added sugars similar to information they have seen for decades with respect to nutrients such as sodium and certain fats. The percent daily value indicates how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet and would help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families, the FDA said. The percent daily value would be based on the recommendation that the daily intake of calories from added sugars not exceed 10% of total calories.

The proposed rule is a supplement to the March 3, 2014 proposed rule on updating the Nutrition Facts label, under which the FDA proposed that food companies include added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label. The proposed rule did not include the declaration of the percent daily value for added sugars.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recently summarized scientific data related to added sugars. The FDA considered the scientific evidence that the DGAC used, which showed that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie requirements if one exceeds 10% of total calories from added sugar, and has determined that this information supports this daily value for added sugars. The DGAC also recommended that Americans limit their added sugars intake to less than 10% of total calories; this and other recommendations from the DGAC, which is an independent advisory committee, will be considered in the development of the final 2015 Dietary Guidelines.

When sugars are added to foods and beverages to sweeten them, they add calories without providing additional nutrients, the FDA said.

“The FDA has a responsibility to give consumers the information they need to make informed dietary decisions for themselves and their families,” said Susan Mayne, PhD, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “For the past decade, consumers have been advised to reduce their intake of added sugars, and the proposed percent daily value for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label is intended to help consumers follow that advice.”

The current label requires the percent daily value be listed for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, calcium and iron.

The FDA is also proposing to change the current footnote on the Nutrition Facts label to help consumers understand the percent daily value concept. The proposed statement on the label would be shorter than the current footnote to allow for more space on the label, stating:

“The percent daily value (%DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”

The FDA is seeking public comment on the proposal for 75 days. The agency said it is still reviewing comments received on the 2014 proposed rule, and is reopening the comment period on its March 2014 proposal for 60 days to invite public comment on two consumer studies related to label formats. The agency will consider comments on the original and this supplemental proposed rule before issuing a final rule.