I found this "declaration of nutritients" on my soda can (excerpt):

     amount     |  100 ml |  330 ml |   *
 carbs          |  10.6 g |   35 g  |  13%
  thereof sugar |  10.6 g |   35 g  |  39%

* Reference value for medium adult (2000kcal).

I noticed that the bottom percentage is exactly 3 times the top one, why is that? It's because the total amount of recommended carb intake is 340 grams, while the one of sugar is 110 g.

These values seem to correspond to the Guideline Daily Amounts recommended by the FDE, which used data from EURODIET, both organisations seem to be financially connected to the European Commission.

  • Because the manufacturer can't do math? It should obviously be 3.3 times. – BillDOe Feb 7 '18 at 20:58
  • Welcome to HealthSE, 355durch113! Please take the tour and read the help center. Personalised medical advice is off-topic here. You may improve your question to comply with site guidelines with an edit and the help of How to Ask. Thanks! – What you wrote here behind the asterisk explains the mystery. What do you not understand with it? – LаngLаngС Feb 7 '18 at 21:02
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    The asterisk indicates "Reference value for medium adult (2000kcal)". You don't tell us what this reference value is. It's presumably something defined by a government agency. Without knowing what that definition is there's no way to answer your question. – Carey Gregory Feb 8 '18 at 4:01
  • @LangLangC I'm really not seeing it. Both of them are 35 grams, and both are carbohydrates. Why is one 3 times the other? – 355durch113 Feb 8 '18 at 19:18
  • @CareyGregory it should be along the lines of "recommended daily intake of kilocalories". – 355durch113 Feb 8 '18 at 19:20

This is due to the fact that the recommended amount of sugar and the recommended amount of total carbs is different.

I'll give an example using total fat and saturated fat (because in the US, where I'm from, there is no recommended amount of sugar, but that's a whole other story).

The percentages you're confused by are based on the recommended amount of that type of macronutrient. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that Americans eat no more than 65g of total fat in a day. They also say that you should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat.

Therefore, if you ate a food with 10g of saturated fat (and no other fat) the label would look like this:

  • Total fat: 10g................15%
  • Saturated fat: 10 g........50%

Even though the amount is the same, the percentage is different, because your recommended daily amounts of total fat and saturated fat are different.

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