WHO urges countries to reduce sugar intake

A new World Health Organization (WHO) guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of sugar to then than 10 per cent of their total energy intake…

The guidelines suggests that a further reduction to below 5 per cent or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

The recommendations are based on analysis of the latest scientific evidence which shows that adults who consume less sugars have lower body weight.

It also revealed that children with the highest intakes of sugary drinks are more likely to be overweight or obese than children with a low intake of sugary drinks.

Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, said: “We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10 per of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay.

“Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases.”

Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer.

In Europe the WHO said the intake in adults ranges from about 7-8 per cent of total energy intake in countries like Hungary and Norway, whereas in countries like Spain and the UK intake was at around 16-17 per cent.

They also reported a difference in regards to rural/urban areas, in rural communities in South Africa the intake is 7.5 per cent, while in the urban population it is 10.3 per cent.


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