WHO Final Sugars Guidelines for Adults and Children

WHO Final Sugars Guidelines for Adults and Children

05 March 2015

A new guideline from the World Health Organization recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% 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.

The British Dietetic Association welcomes these guidelines on sugar intake. The UK population consumes too much sugar in the diet, especially children and teenagers, who are consuming 50% more sugar than the maximum recommended amount.

Too much sugar in the diet can lead to weight gain and becoming overweight or obese, which can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Consuming too many sugary drinks and food can also cause tooth decay.

We also look forward to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) publishing its final Carbohydrates and Health report later in the year, which will also include advice on sugar consumption.”

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