The New Food Label Delay and the Importance of Added Sugars

It is important for pediatricians to show parents how to recognize added sugars in their children’s diet and stress the importance of limiting them. New and improved food labels could facilitate this kind of nutrition counseling. In May 2016, the FDA issued a rule changing what needed to be included in nutrition food labels. Originally, companies were expected to be in compliance by July 2018, just last month.1 However, many groups rallied against the new food labels, including the Sugar Association, the American Beverage Association, the Corn Refiners Association, and the American Bakers Association, to name a few.2 One part of the nutrition label that was criticized by these groups was a new section underneath “Total Carbohydrates.” This section will inform consumers about the quantity of added sugars in each product. However, the deadline has now been pushed back until January 2020 for food companies with revenue greater than 10 million dollars in food sales and until January 2021 for those with revenue less than 10 million dollars in food sales. Many of the public comments under the bill proposing the new food label came from industry groups who pointed to a lack of scientific research demonstrating intrinsically harmful effects of sugar.3 (more…)


The Pediatric Subspecialist Shortage

We often hear about the shortage of general practitioners when it comes to adult medicine. Our newly minted doctors are foregoing primary care and opting to pursue further fellowship training in preparation for careers as subspecialists following their residency training in internal medicine. Interestingly, pediatrics has the opposite problem. Adult medicine has 36 specialists for every 100,000 patients whereas pediatrics only has 13 specialists for every 100,000 pediatric patients. We have a gross shortage of pediatric subspecialists ready to take care of the complex medical problems which are beyond the scope of practice for the general pediatrician. (more…)