World Health Organisation reveals how much sugar we should be eating 32



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There’s so many different sources of health information out there however the World Health Organisation is one of the most reliable. Today they released their guidelines on sugar intake for adults and children worldwide and it includes a further reduction to what was previously instructed.

The new guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10 per cent of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5 per cent or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

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, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.

“We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10 per cent of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. “Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases”.

The WHO guideline does not refer to the sugars in fresh fruits and vegetables, and sugars naturally present in milk, because there is no reported evidence of adverse effects of consuming these sugars.

Worldwide intake of free sugars varies by age, setting and country. In Europe, intake in adults ranges from about 7-8 per cent of total energy intake in countries like Hungary and Norway, to 16-17 per cent in countries like Spain and the United Kingdom. Intake is much higher among children, ranging from about 12 per cent in countries like Denmark, Slovenia and Sweden, to nearly 25 per cent in Portugal. There are also rural/urban differences. In rural communities in South Africa intake is 7.5 per cent, while in the urban population it is 10.3 per cent.

The recommendations are based on analysis of the latest scientific evidence. This evidence shows, first, that adults who consume less sugars have lower body weight and, second, that increasing the amount of sugars in the diet is associated with a weight increase. In addition, research shows that children with the highest intakes of sugar-sweetened drinks are more likely to be overweight or obese than children with a low intake of sugar-sweetened drinks.

So, how do you feel about these changes? Do you eat too much sugar now? Share your thoughts in the comments below… 

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  1. When will these “experts” be definitive and tell us what will happen if we do or we don’t rather than what may happen. They seem to enjoy gambling with our health and our life with perhaps, may be, possibly, etc.

    1 REPLY
    • Because everyons metabolism is different, they can only advise what may happen. Be sensible with sugar intake.

  2. Might be white death to you Dianne but how do you avoid sugar. Unless you absolutely grow all your own food and by that I mean meat and dairy as well you will be eating sugar.

    4 REPLY
    • Didn’t say I don’t eat it I said we shouldn’t eat it…..not processed sugar or replacements…. Sugar in unnatural form no good… But I’m trying real hard to not eat it or using it…bit late but oh well ….might give me a couple years longer.

    • Also cutting meat out eating home grown or farmers market fruit and veg more and more each week….no chockies or biscuits any more

    • There is so much hidden sugar in processed foods that you can do your head in trying to detect it on the labels.

  3. Reducing the intake of sugar not only can control obesity and tooth decay but also diabetes in my experience.

    2 REPLY
    • Sugar dosnt decay the teeth its because they are not cleaned before bed time. Years ago I asked a Dentist about this and he explained that when food lays in the teeth this is what causes Decay
      My Children (52 & 50 now) both have perfect teeth.

    • You are right Maureen, obesity and tooth decay were mentioned in the article. It was fluoride in the water that helped our children to have perfect teeth but I have to add diabetes as a result of consuming too much sugar because it is preferable to insulin injections.

  4. The WHO guidelines does not refer to natural sugars in fresh fruit and vegetables because there is no reported evidence of adverse effects from these sugars…Really? Fruit smoothies and fruit juice can have more sugar (energy) than a can of Coke…can the body tell the difference?

    1 REPLY
    • It is recommended that you eat only whole fruits and not reduce the fruit to smoothies or extract the juice.

  5. People who work in aircon areas don’t need sugar or salt, people who work outside aircon areas need sugar and salt to do their work without cramps or other problems

  6. Honestly…I’m so confused…what we should do & eat these days…so what I do NOW…is just eat everything I wanted to eat healthy in moderation!!
    Treat myself for something naughty now & than…done

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