Healthcare costs could be reduced by billions, according to the American Heart Association’s Journal Circulation study
GILBERT, AZ (May 15, 2019) – Informing consumers about added sugars on the labels of all packaged foods and sugary drinks could drastically reduce cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes cases and save billions in healthcare costs, according to a new science advisory, “Cost-Effectiveness of the US Food and Drug Administration Added Sugar Labeling Policy for Improving Diet and Health,” published May 15 in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. In addition, replacing sugars in packaged foods and sugary drinks with better-for-you alternatives could double the benefits, according to the study.
The study, which is the first of its kind to calculate benefits of a 2016 Food and Drug Administration requirement to include added sugars on nutrition labels, predicts that between 2018 and 2037, the added sugars label could prevent more than 354,000 cardiovascular disease cases and reduce type 2 diabetes cases by 600,000 with more than $31 billion in net healthcare costs saved.
“Food labeling can be an effective strategy to support informed consumer choice and effectively change consumer behavior,” said Renata Micha, R.D. Ph.D., of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, where the study was conducted.
Researchers believe the added sugars label will encourage food and beverage manufacturers to reformulate their products, which would reduce cardiovascular disease cases by 700,000 and diabetes cases by 1.2 million with net healthcare costs savings of more than $57 billion.
“A 2018 study by the global food company Kerry, ‘Sensibly Sweet,’ showed that Americans are more aware of added sugars in the foods and beverages they consume and, as a result, want to cut down on added sugars for the health benefits,” said Carol May, CEO of Wisdom Natural Brands, maker of the SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener family of products. “According to the American Heart Association, 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through education and lifestyle change. SweetLeaf offers products that are an excellent, plant-based alternative to sugars with no sugars, zero calories, and no artificial sweeteners, and they taste great.”
From SweetLeaf’s natural and organic packets, to fruit-flavored Water Drops™ for a delicious upgrade to still or sparkling water, to the 16 popular flavors of Sweet Drops™ in everyday beverages and foods, the SweetLeaf family of products adds award-winning taste without the negative health effects of added dietary sugars.
About WISDOM NATURAL BRANDS®
Wisdom Natural Brands®, based in Gilbert, Ariz., has been the leading stevia expert and industry pioneer with its plant-based SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener brand for more than 35 years. SweetLeaf is the only stevia brand winning 31 awards for taste and innovation, more than all low-or-no calorie sweeteners combined. SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener has zero calories, no added sugars, a non-glycemic response, and no artificial ingredients. Wisdom introduced herbal blends made from Yerba Maté through its Wisdom of the Ancients® brand, one of the most respected herbal lines in the natural industry. Wisdom of the Ancients herbal blends are available in bags and loose leaves and come in a variety of beneficial flavors. SweetLeaf and Wisdom of the Ancients products are available at health food stores, natural groceries, supermarkets, and online retailers.