The George Institute For Global Health
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Labelling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks

Submission to public consultation: Labelling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks

The George Institute supports improvements to the labeling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks to enable consumers to make informed choices in support of dietary guidelines. Foods and drinks can contain both naturally occurring and added sugars. Foods high in added sugars may displace more nutritious foods in the diet, and contribute to dental caries, unhealthy weight gain and associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Both the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs) and the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest limiting added sugars to avoid these adverse health outcomes, yet national nutrition surveys suggest more than half of Australians still exceed recommended intakes. While overweight and obesity and poor dental health are not solely attributable excess added sugar consumption, these conditions place a significant burden on individuals and health systems.

Food labels are an important tool to enable consumers to make informed and healthier choices, however current sugars information on labels is difficult and time-consuming to interpret, making it difficult to follow dietary advice