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WHO recommends cut to sugar in diets

New guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) will suggest that people halve their intake of sugar.

The organisation is expected to recommend that sugar constitute just 5% of total calorie intake, whereas previously, the figure had been set at 10%. For the average adult, this meant consuming around 50g of sugar a day.

The WHO definition includes all sugar additives, but also naturally occurring sweeteners, such as those found in honey and fruit juice.

A public consultation is needed first, but it is thought that the recommendations should be made official by the summer.

Sugar is rapidly becoming the health issue of the day, and many parents could look into setting up a part time franchise running a school tuck shop, so as to better influence what their children are eating.

Director of Nutrition and Diet at Public Health England, Alison Tedstone, said that the body’s own surveys had shown that the British population would need to reduce their sugar intake. Research had found that the average intake for children was 15.2%, while for adults it was 11.6%.

The WHO’s change has come about following a review of recent research. An obesity study published in the British Medical Journal was of particular relevance. It found that while sugar itself was not a direct cause of obesity, the fact that it was less likely to leave people’s appetites sated meant that people who ate a lot of it also tended to eat more.

One leading doctor, Dame Sally Davies, who is England’s Chief Medical Officer, has even suggested bringing in a sugar tax to tackle the problem.

Posted by Susan
April 10, 2014

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