Mexico food labeling rules draw fire on sugar

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's new food labeling rules are supposed to help fight an obesity epidemic, but activists say they may actually encourage the public to consume high levels of sugar.

The debate over sugar has grown bitter in a country with one of the highest obesity rates in the hemisphere.

The new label rules unveiled last week list the amount of sugar and other contents as a percent of recommended daily intakes.

But the labels assume that an average acceptable daily intake of sugar is about 360 calories, equivalent to about 90 grams of sugar.

The World Health Organization has proposed a sugar intake of as little as 25 grams per day.

Experts published a full-page ad in Mexican newspapers Monday saying the new rules "increase the risk of obesity and diabetes."

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