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Question:

From New Orleans:

I work for New Orleans Magazine and am writing an article about the proliferation of sugarfree items in coffee shops, etc. that are not actually sugarfree because they contain honey or molasses.

I am writing to you to find out if there are any legal guidelines or efforts made by diabetes associations to curb the labeling of things as "sugarfree" if they contain a form of sugar.

Answer:

I am not aware of any efforts of diabetes groups working in this area. I think this issue is not as troublesome as it may have been with the advent of carbohydrate counting as a way to plan meals, but it is still an interesting issue.

JM

[Editor's comment: A slightly different problem has become one of my pet peeves: the inability of staff at restaurants to comprehend the importance of serving "diet soda pop" upon request; all too often, standard, sugar-containing soda pop is served without comprehension of the importance of the extra sugar to someone with diabetes. I advise my patients not to order "diet pop" at restaurants unless they have brought along their own sugar-testing strips (the same strips that are used for checking for the presence of sugar in urine can be used to check for sugar in any liquid!). Of course, if the "diet pop" is in the original container from the factory (either the plastic bottle or metal can), it's safe for anyone restricting calories to drink it! WWQ]

Original posting 4 Dec 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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