CSPI Statement On NAS Report On Macronutrients

CSPI senior nutritionist David Schardt, M.S., had the following comment about the Institute of Medicine’s new report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Macronutrients

September 5, 2002

The Institute of Medicine has recommended that people consume as little saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol as possible and substantially more dietary fiber. Such a diet would be much higher in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and much lower in meat and dairy products and commercially fried foods. It is critical that the federal government now promote that advice by requiring Nutrition Facts labels on all meat and poultry products, requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards, and mounting major national campaigns to encourage healthy eating.

Also, for the first time, the IOM recognized that consumers need different advice about the added (refined) sugars in soft drinks, candy, and other sweets than about the naturally occurring sugars in fruits and milk. The committee said that consuming more than 25 percent of calories from added sugars could lead to dangerously low intakes of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.

To implement that advice, the Food and Drug Administration should set a Daily Value (DV) for added sugars at a level substantially lower – and safer – than the IOM’s danger level. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended limit of 40 grams (8 percent of calories) a day for people eating a 2,000-calorie diet could be the basis for the DV. The FDA then should require Nutrition Facts labels to list the amount of added sugars and percent of the DV that a serving of food contains.


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