World Health Organization to Issue New Guidance on Sugar Consumption.
Back in 2002 the WHO issued a recommendation that calorie intake from sugar, including naturally present sugars in Honey, Fruit Juice and Fruit Concentrates, should not exceed 10%. However the experts now believe that 10% is too high and a target figure for sugar to make up less than 5% of total daily calorie intake has been recommended.
Current surveys show that sugar intake for UK adults is currently 11.6% and children is 15.2% which is well above the existing UK guideline amount of 10%. Campaign group, Action for Sugar, have been calling for a 5% recommended limit.
The WHO guidelines are based on a review of scientific evidence on the health impact of sugar, including obesity and dental health.
The obesity study publish in 2013 in the British Medical Journal found that sugar did not directly cause obesity but that it was a significant contributing factor, as people who consumed a lot of sugary foods tend to put on weight as, despite its high calorific content, sugar does not make people feel full so they continue to eat more calories than they require.
England’s Chief Medical Officer told Members of Parliament “We may need to move toward some kind of sugar tax.”
Though you will read many opinions and articles claiming that the current trend to demonise sugar is just the latest health scare and that sugar is not actually bad for you, the evidence regarding the high calorie content of sugar and that relating to high calorie consumption and its effect on weight gain is compelling and undisputed. We as a nation certainly need to raise our awareness in regard to the health effect of excessive use of sugar and in particular we need to be aware of the amount of hidden calories in processed foods.
The one overriding piece of advice that comes from all food scares is probably the oldest “all things in moderation” or that we should aim to eat a well balanced diet that contains a high percentage of whole foods. Our bodies can benefit from an occasional sugar boost, particularly when carrying out physically challenging tasks and sports but consuming high levels of sugar should not be an everyday part of our diet.