Monthly Archives: May 2016

Revamped Nutrition Facts Label – A Win for Consumers and Public Health

By Kristen Sullivan, MPH, MS, Director, Nutrition and Physical Activity, American Cancer Society

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When Michelle Obama announced new changes to the Nutrition Facts label to a room full of health and nutrition advocates last Friday, she received a standing ovation. I had the privilege of being in the room, representing the American Cancer Society.

The first lady told the audience that, for the first time since its inception in the early 1990s, the Nutrition Facts label – that black and white chart on packaged foods that lists the amount of calories and other nutrients – is getting a much-needed overhaul.

Some of the changes to the label, she went on the say, would include:

  • making the calorie text bigger and bolder so it is easier to see,
  • using a serving size that better reflects the amount that people are likely to eat,
  • and importantly, listing the amount of added sugars in the product – a change that health and nutrition advocates, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, have been wanting for years.

The new label is a huge win for consumers who are trying to make better choices at the grocery store.   Given that about 55% of consumers say they often use the Nutrition Facts label to help guide their food choices, the changes to the label have the potential to make a big impact on the foods people buy.… Continue reading →

Cancer Mortality Progress Report: Past Success and Future Challenges

ACS 2015 Challenge Goal Progress Chart

By American Cancer Society Chief Medical Officer Otis W. Brawley, MD, FACP and Chief Cancer Control Officer Richard Wender, MD

As leaders of the American Cancer Society, one of our jobs is to look at the big picture; to step back from our day-to-day work and review our nation’s collective progress toward ending the cancer problem.

Analyzing the cancer landscape allows us to figure out what’s working and what isn’t — and to determine what else can be done. Back in the mid-1990s, the American Cancer Society Board of Directors took a hard look at the state of cancer in the United States. Based on what they learned, they challenged the U.S. to cut the cancer mortality rate in half by the year 2015.1 They made the start year 1990.

They knew from the outset that achieving the goal would require the combined efforts of many sectors, and not any one organization.

Today, we are reporting on the nation’s progress toward achieving that goal. Here’s what we have all accomplished together: The cancer death rate declined 26% over the 25-year period of 1990 to 2015. Though the goal of a 50% reduction was only one-half achieved, we believe this progress should be viewed as a glass half full.… Continue reading →