As the backlash against sugar continues, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has released new intake guidelines for both adults and children.
WHO recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of sugars, excluding sugar in fruits, vegetables and milk, to less than 10 per cent of their total energy intake.
Moreover, a further reduction to below 5 per cent or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits, according to WHO.
“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,” Dr Francesco Branca, director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, said.
“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.”
According to WHO, much of the sugar consumed today is “hidden” in processed foods that are not usually seen as sweets. It gives the example of 1 tablespoon of “ketchup” which it says contains around 4 grams (around 1 teaspoon) of free sugars.
It also says a single can of sugar-sweetened “soda” contains up to 40 grams (around 10 teaspoons) of free sugars.