CHOICE membership

Sugar labelling - which measurement method is most meaningful to you?


Why should gullible people even be allowed access to soft drinks with 16 teaspoonsful of sugar per can or children’s school lunches with up to 40 teaspoonsful of sugar. No wonder we have almost 50% obesity and diabetes, all putting tremendous strain on the health system, as well as people!


kathryng76 has said what I was going to say so I can only add that it is because serving sizes vary greatly between similar products from different brands.


Hi there, When you look at the label there is a list of things under the per 100 gms bit. So if you look down the list to sugar and it says 10.7 grams then I know that 10.7% of this product is sugar. Which is very helpful. But it would be good if it was also in the form of teaspoons (ie an imageand a statement) so you could visually see how much that is.
Just my thoughts. Hope this helps.


Hi I prefer amount stated as gms per 100 gms product. I know to keep my choices below 5gms/100gms.


I prefere teaspoon measurements.


Hiya, I prefer the number of grams of sugar in the package AND an image of the teaspoons taken.


I would like to see teaspoons, a ready image comes to my mind. I would also like to see total sugars, as per jezemeg8’s comments.


I prefer the percentage measurement - ie x% of the product is sugar (not x% of ‘serving size’ - which is pretty meaningless).
It’s scary how much sugar is creeping into products that you’d assume have no or little sugar. For example, the mayonnaise I usually buy has less than 2% sugar but a supermarket brand I recently looked at had a whopping 20%.


I prefer an amount per 100 grams as this allows comparison and as serving sizes seem totally arbitrary.


I think it should be, like it should be with all igredient lists, per 100g. Serving sizes are a joke, and differ widely between people, and it’s deceptive when one product will list per package, and the next per 100g. As a long-term type 1 diabetic who began taking notice of amount of sugar and carbohydrates in foods when I was ten years old, and now as a health consumer rep on diabetes committees, from the point of view of the many and ever-growing number of diabetics, the more consistency, the easier it is for people to restrict and/or calculate the amount of sugar they are eating each day. The amount of sugar in most processed foods is scary.


If it is stated as a % of the total or as a % of the serving size they really only state the same thing eg if it is 25% sugar this percentage does not alter even if 100g or 1 kg are referred to. If however it is stating the % of your daily allowance it is important to know what amount of product this relates to.


I’m sure you are aware of this Katinka @kday, but for others who may not be:

FSANZ’s Nutrition Panel Calculator (NPC) helps food manufacturers calculate the average nutrient content of their food products and prepare a nutrition information panel.


Percentage of sugar in the product. Serving sizes can be unrealistic (in both directions).


My vote is on grams of sugar (even better is the grams/100g) because SI units are king!


A combination approach:

Sugar: 10.7 g / 2.5 tsp


10.7g (10% of the daily intake)


Forget about added sugars. Total sugar content is what matters. The most reliable measure of sugar content is the percentage or grams /100 grams, usually in the right hand column on the Nutrition Information Panel (but check it as some sneaky manufacturers list “per-serve” there). To ensure that your intake of fructose (50% of sucrose) is less than the recommended daily intake of 10 grams, do not purchase any processed food with more than 2% “sugars”. Yoghurt is OK to 7% as the first 5% is lactose based and metabolises as glucose. And watch out for “low fat” products. When the fat is removed so is the flavour. It is usually replaced with sugar and salt.
If teaspoonfuls is meaningful to you just divide the volume or weight of the package by 4. About 5 teaspoonfuls of “sugars” equates to about 10 grams of fructose.


The current system does not work for health conscious consumers hence the changes already made in some countries to better capture “added” sugar and indeed why we are discussing it. Breaking down all the sugar types such as lactose, fructose etc. will be too confusing for many people and resisted by manufacturers. The most important number to note is how much unnecessary sugar has been “added” to sweeten a product as opposed to that which naturally occurs. Naturally occurring sugars consumed as part of the “whole” food are generally considered healthy in comparison to any added sugar/sweetener which has been isolated in some way. A good example is a breakfast muesli product which may be high in total sugar due to the addition of unsweetened dried fruit & nuts but contain no “added” sugar vs a similar product which has the same dried fruit & nuts AND the addition of unnecessary added sugar just to sweeten the product. Under the current system you may be able to see “sugar” as an ingredient in product number two but you cannot determine exactly how much has been added.

In relation to how it could be shown:

Carbohydrates: 55g/100g (55%)
Natural Sugar: 12g/100g (12%)
Added Sugar: 32g/100g (32%)

The addition of a pictogram indicating how many teaspoons of added sugar equates to 32g would be a bonus!


I fully agree with cool_breeze. As an example, I make my muesli myself so I know what is in it. Dried fruit are a component of that muesli and even though I would love to have some dried mangoes in it, the sugar content of over 60% prevents me to buy them. If I knew that 55% of that sugar were natural sugar it would be ok.

In addition to that I would like to see the percentage of the Recommended Daily Intake of the ingredient:

Carbohydrates: 45g/100g (45%)
Natural Sugar: 12g/100g (12%)
Added Sugar: 32g/100g (32%) - 58% of RDI

(According to a Choice Article in March 2015 the RDI for added sugar is 55gms)


I try to follow a very low sugar diet. I know 4g is a teaspoon, so I look for that in the ingredients list.
It would be much easier if the ingredients list showed both teaspoons and grams. It would also be useful to have cane sugar listed separately. The ‘sugars’ listed now may include fructose and other sugars, as well as, cane sugar. Those of us who require healthy eating need to know how much cane sugar we eat.