New York City will force some chain restaurants to disclose "added sugar" in menu items

"Patients just do not realize how much sugar they're getting in their foods"

By Michael La Corte

Deputy Food Editor

Published November 20, 2023 12:25PM (EST)

Too much sugar in drinks (Getty Images/Peter Dazeley)
Too much sugar in drinks (Getty Images/Peter Dazeley)

The Sweet Truth Act, signed into law on Friday by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, requires "chain restaurants with 15 or more locations overall to put 'added sugar' labels on their food and drinks if they exceed the FDA's recommended amounts," according to Kristie Keleshian of CBS News.

The FDA recommends a daily limit of no more than 50 grams of sugar a day. However, a 2021 study from the Center for Science in the Public Interest found that most chain restaurant soda fountain drinks exceed a day’s worth of added sugars, with some large varieties containing up to 109 grams. New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan praised the initiative, saying that "most chronic metabolic, cardiometabolic, diseases are about your dinner, not your DNA." 

Meanwhile, Dr. Caroline Messer told CBS News, "forty-five grams a day is perfect because a lot of us are waling around with pre-diabetes without realizing it . . .  patients just do not realize how much sugar they're getting in their foods, especially at these chain restaurants."

Of course, this is not only limited to foods: Many drinks from chain restaurants also have excessive amounts of sugar. This change may displease some, but for those being vigilant about their health and would like more transparency about the food they are eating, it's a welcome change. Keleshian reports that "if businesses don't comply by next December, they could face $200 to $500 fines."

MORE FROM Michael La Corte