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Sugar overload: WHO may cut sugar recommendations by half

by AFP/Relaxnews

- 3 January 2014 11:33 AM | Updated 03 Jan 2014

Sugar overload: WHO may cut sugar recommendations by half

The WHO is considering cutting its daily sugar recommendations by half | Photo: Loris Eichenberger/shutterstock.com

Experts are proposing cutting the recommended level that people should consume from no more than 10 per cent of their calories from sugar to no more than five per cent, based on fears of heart disease, obesity, and tooth decay, The Sunday Times in the UK reports. The new requirements equate to about five teaspoons of sugar a day − about the same as in a Mar bars or in half a can of a soda.

"It is political dynamite," said Philip James, president of the WHO-affiliated International Association for the Study of Obesity, in the report. "The food industry will do everything in their power to undermine this."

"I would agree with the recommendation to reduce it to five per cent," added Shrinath Reddy, a cardiologist and a member of the WHO panel of experts. "There is overwhelming evidence coming out about sugar-sweetened beverages and other sugar consumption (being linked) to obesity, diabetes and even cardiovascular disease."

According to recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, most US adults get a whopping 13 per cent of their total calories from added sugars alone. Not only does that add a lot of extra calories which contribute to making us fat, sugary items often displace healthier items, such as fruits, vegetables, and foods packed with nutrients.

Healthy sugars − is there such a thing? Read here to find out