NEW FOOD LABELLING REGULATIONS FAILS TO ADDRESS HIGH SUGAR CONTENT IN TAIWANESE FOOD PRODUCTSTAIWAN”S MINISTRY of Health and Welfare (MOHW) recently issued a statement reminding vendors who want to label their products as health foods that the limit on free sugar content in registered health food products is 25 grams or 6 teaspoons per serving. Health foods with 17 grams or more must have a health warning of the sugar content and a warning to limit sugar consumption. There are a few problems with their statement and with sugar itself, but before I explain why, its important to have some background on the dangers of sugar and how the MOHW decision was made.
Sugar is everywhere from snack bars to potato chips and pretty much everything in-between. Its found in so many foods these days that you have to try really hard to avoid it. Even if you don’t eat chocolate bars and foods that you expect to have sugar you could be getting it from some surprising places. Some salad dressings can have up to 10 grams of sugar in 2 tablespoons, a small pot of yogurt can have over 36 grams in it and some healthy cereals can have up to 20 grams of sugar. Even if you look at the ingredients list on the back of foods you might not find any sugar listed as there are over 60 names for sugar some as diverse as Ethyl Maltol, Maltodextrin, Refiner’s Syrup and Barley Malt just to name a few.