CHOICE membership

Can you identify how much sugar is added to a product?


If there’s more than 3g sugar per 100g of product on the nutrition panel don’t eat it. Pretty simple really. The exception would be dairy where if there is no added sugar the lactose is about 4.9g per 100g I think.


Thanks all for your input on this post. It is useful feedback for us as the question over whether added sugar should be labelled on food products will be brought up by Government this year.

The food industry has long pointed to the fact that science shows people process added sugars and naturally occurring sugars the same way. Many health advocates and scientists agree with this point. However the overwhelming evidence shows that there is a difference between added and intrinsic sugars when considering dietary quality. If you consume too much added sugars, it can be tough to get all the nutrients you need in a day and still stay within your calorie limits— which is key to avoiding weight gain. In addition, a diet packed with added sugars has also been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. This is why the World Health Organisation and the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend we decrease our intake of added sugars.

For this reason, CHOICE wants to see added sugar labelled on the nutritional informational panel and clearly listed in the ingredient list so that consumers can make informed decisions about what is in a product.

If added sugar was clearly labelled on food labels, do you think it would help individuals reduce their intake of added sugars? What about those consumers who are more disengaged?


I do think labelling the added sugar helps. But it should also be indicated what % of your daily energy needs this added sugar adds to your diet so people can see the increased energy they intake without any other nutritional benefits.


Could you point us to the evidence, please?


Hi Fred,

Louie et al, 2015, state that ‘Added sugar is a prime target for nutrition intervention as it provides ‘empty calories’ or calories with little or no associated nutrients. Studies have shown that a high intake of added sugar can dilute the nutrient content of the diet and increase the total energy intake, potentially resulting in weight gain.’

Bernstein & L’Abbe, 2016, state that ‘Excess intake of added sugars (the sugars and syrups added to foods and beverages) — not total sugars — is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, dental caries and cardiovascular disease.’
Although total sugars include added sugars, they also refer to the sugar found naturally in whole fruits, vegetables and dairy products that are part of a healthy, balanced diet recommended in Canada’s Food Guide.

When FSANZ reviewed this issue last year, they included the following in their assessment;
‘many public health stakeholders support the proposed labelling changes. These stakeholders agreed that naturally occurring sugars and added sugars have the same physiological impact, but note the difference is significant when considering dietary quality. They believe the additional label information will assist consumers in making dietary decisions that would reduce their consumption of added sugars.’

The World Health Organisation’s recommendation on limiting added sugar is also a good read:

I hope that helps!


Thanks for that! Yes, that’s well-established. I think I misinterpreted the original statement to indicate that our bodies processed added and intrinsic sugars differently. :slight_smile:


My answers to the first two questions are Yes and Yes. The third question is much harder to answer. Although it would seem that having a category on the label as “added sugar” would work, manufacturers are adept at disguising ingredients so as to hide some of the additions they make to their products. No added sugar might look good at first sight but if there is pear juice, for example, added, then would that be included in “added sugar”? I doubt it. Meanwhile, I am currently puzzling over the labelling of “Naked Ginger uncrystallised”. Sugars are listed as 81.2g/100g so if anyone is thinking that this product might be better than the crystallised variety, I think they would be disappointed.


Naked Ginger Uncrystallised is the same as Crystallised Ginger in that they both go through the same process of turning them into the ginger we eat in the packets. So both have been immersed in a sugar solution as part of the process. The reason for the naked is that they have not then coated the ginger in sugar to give it that sugar crisp coating.


Surely the easiest way to avoid ‘added sugar’ is don’t buy anything in a packet or a box!
If we didn’t buy it, the manufacturers would make it. We are all to blame in one way or another.
Crap is still crap whether there is added sugar or not - think the sugar free lollies! Sugar in fruit and veg i.e. fructose, or sugar in plain milk i.e. lactose are not the problem when we eat them in their natural state i.e. an apple - not a jar of apple puree, or a bottle of milk not chocolate flavoured milk drink.


There is no role for fructose (other than if fresh fruit) in our diet. Over-consumption of fruit would be a concern.
The other 3 natural sugars (glucose/dextrose, lactose & galactose) are OK as the body and brain know automatically how to stop us eating too much of these. No one is “sensitive” to “sugar”; everyone is damaged little by little by fructose which is contained in sucrose.


“sugar-free loffies” are not. They usually contain one or more of the alchohol sugars which go straight to fructose when eaten. Because of the weird ingredients they contain, many of the “sugar free” lollies are probably worse for you that the standard sugar lollies.


The body processes fructose differently to the three other sugars (glucose/dextrose, lactose & galactose).
Fructose will damage the body and the brain.

Fructose - A Debate

This statement is not correct, the authorities are wrong. All sugars are not the same and 100 calories of one sugar is not the same as 100 calories of another sugar.

Fructose (other than in fresh fruit) is bad and it doesn’t matter if it is in the product or added, it is all bad.


We should eat some fruit and the fructose that is contained in that is all we need. There is no safe level of non-fruit fructose that can be consumed by humans. Fructose is more dangerous than alchohol.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Fructose is Dangerous - A Debate


Can you take action for better sugar labelling?

Methinks Tobacco Industry tactics have been well learnt by others but even if not learnt from them it is the same methods used to smother the evidence.

Another part of the release of the papers:

And here is an article which aligns closely with the aims of clearly labelling “Added sugars”

The above entries including that of @meltam6554’s post, I feel, contains some great ammunition that could perhaps be added into to the new email to the Health Ministers as part of the “Can you take action for better sugar labelling?” campaign. This would leave them in no doubt that they were serving the interests of an industry that has it sights set on profits over public health, it might also nudge their consciences in the right direction and even help hold them to account.

Can you take action for better sugar labelling?

Another hopeful nail in the coffin of added sugars in our diets comes in this report sponsored by the American Heart Association. In the report it linked the consumption of sugary drinks with an associated greater risk of death from Heart disease.

An article on the report:,-Juice,-Other-Sugary-Drinks-May-Boost-Risk-of-Fatal-Heart-Disease

Another report that has similar outcomes:


12 posts were merged into an existing topic: Fructose - A Debate


Every once in a while you see something that almost takes your breath away with a simple, straight forward message. How to show how much sugar is in a product? Mandate standard baggies of it by each display - impractical but what a thought. I was not able to find the original source so snipped it from a share from the Gym Memes facebook page.