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There are certain indisputable truths that those dealing with diabetes must identify with: self-management skills, behavioral changes, and overcoming barriers to healthy eating. So shouldn’t nutrition labels make all of this easier by providing easy-to-read data?
AIB International’s Food Labeling Services recently received a question regarding making nutrition information more transparent for people dealing with diabetes. We thought this information was important to share with the industry. Here’s the expertise below:
Question: My company produces a low-calorie diet beverage (5 calories/serving), which contains zero grams of sugar, but 1 gram of carbohydrate. Do we need to include an alert on our beverage label that states, “Diabetics: contains 1 gram of carbohydrates per serving”?
Answer: The use of the term “diet” may be used if the claim is not false or misleading. Also, the beverage must meet the claim “low calorie”, “reduced calorie”, or another comparative calorie claim, and that claim is listed on the label. The regulatory requirements for the claim “diet” do not include any requirements for sugar or carbohydrate values so an additional mention of those would not be necessary.
While the amount of carbohydrates in the food is listed in the nutrition facts panel, it might still be beneficial for those dealing with diabetes that use carbohydrate counting to have this information highlighted by using a callout such as the one you proposed.
You can voluntarily include the statement, but keep in mind that it is considered a claim and would be subject to the general requirements for nutrient content claims such as disclosure levels for negative nutrients.
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