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October 1, 2020

Nutrient Warnings on Unhealthy Foods

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill
  • 2Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 3Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 4Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2020;324(16):1609-1610. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.18941

Poor diet is one of the leading contributing factors for death in the US and worldwide.1 Unhealthy diets, characterized by overconsumption of ultraprocessed foods and sugary drinks, increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.1 A nutrient warning policy is a common sense response to rising rates of diet-related disease. The US should require prominent warning labels on the front of product packaging to alert consumers when food products contain high levels of unhealthy nutrients.