How do we know how much sugar we are consuming?
Consumers have direct access to the amount of sugars in foods and drinks through the products’ nutrition facts labels where sugar contents are listed. In the EU, the provision of food information to consumers regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 ) harmonizes the way in which sugars must be labeled.
The nutrition declaration must indicate the amount of total sugars. The ingredients list specifies the types of sugars added.
Sugars can be added in foods as such or through other ingredients. When sugars themselves are used as ingredient, the types of sugars added in the product are labeled in the list of ingredients (add examples). Sometimes, ingredients containing sugars (whether naturally occurring or added), are used in food preparations. In this case, the list of ingredients will refer to that ingredient.
In all cases, the way to find the amount of total sugars contained in a food or drink is to look at the nutrition declaration on the label.
In the EU, the largest sources of sugar in the diet are confection and beverages based on EFSA findings in their 2021 opinion on the tolerable upper limit of sugars.