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Paul Burke Comment ID #682

Submitted 09/08/2014


Energy labels on cars and appliances have been graphic enough to change the market, because they highlight the best choices available.

The current "Nutrition Facts" label is not as effective as the energy labels. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines need to propose additional, voluntary, graphic labels to highlight and move the market toward available foods with low sodium, saturated fat and sugar. Good choices exist in every food group, and good labels will help people find them.

I attach examples. The committee can call on graphic artists to develop better designs, and may want to choose other nutrients. Design 2 includes potassium and phosphorus, since dialysis patients need to minimize them, and most published diets and supplements lack enough potassium (

I encourage the committee to propose voluntary designs, not required ones, to allay resistance and allow improvements. The most helpful voluntary designs will spread. Producers of healthy foods can use such designs to help them stand out among the 43,000 foods in an average supermarket.

As I said in my earlier comment (ID# 318), companies produce many foods low in sodium, fat and sugar. They need better labels so people can find them.

Bone loss caused by sodium is a large problem, and I urge you to improve labeling as well as advice. Studies are cited and summarized in the attachment.

USDA and NIH diets also need to cut sodium. For example the NIH DASH diet can cut sodium 35% by replacing its breads with zero-sodium commercial breads ( The USDA diet can likewise reduce its sodium.

Affiliation: Other Organization:
  • Food industry approaches to reducing sodium, added sugars, and fats
  • Micronutrients (Sodium, Potassium, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron)


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