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Cutting Sugar Intake in Half Necessary, New Draft Guidelines from WHO

The next time you think about gulping down a can of soda, sweet beverage or munching away at sugary food, think again! The World Health Organization has new draft guidelines for sugar intake.

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How many of you need a pick-me-up midday by downing a can of soda or another type of sweet beverage? Well, under the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new draft guidelines, your sugar intake should only make up 5 percent of daily calories.

If you think about it, a can of soda has 35 grams of sugar. Under the new draft guidelines, you should not have more than 25 grams of sugar, or 100 calories, based on a daily intake of 2,000 calories.

By reducing everyone’s sugar intake, it can play a positive role towards reducing obesity as well as preventing tooth decay.

“Obesity now affects half a billion people in the world and it is on the rise in all age groups,” according to Dr. Francesco Branca, the director of WHO’s Department for Nutrition for Health and Development. Dr. Branca also added, “Caries is one of the most common non-communicable diseases and it creates discomfort, pain and it eats up to 5 percent of the health budget.”

The new guidelines recommend a reduction in free sugars intake for all ages. Free sugars, also known as “empty calories”, do not provide nutritional value.

Naturally occurring sugar, including sugar from whole fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains are not included in the scheme of things, rather, the new guidelines refer to added sugars like sucrose, honey, syrup, and molasses.

The new guidelines recommend the intake of free sugars should be no more than 10 percent of the total energy intake, but further reducing it to 5 percent will provide further health benefits.

Changes to the guidelines have been based on the review of scientific evidence looking at the impact of sugar on teeth decay and obesity.

[Source: World Health Organization]