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WHO Sugar Guidelines Have Beverage Makers Raising Cain

Image: WHO Sugar Guidelines Have Beverage Makers Raising Cain

By    |   Friday, 06 Mar 2015 09:13 AM

The World Health Organization has issued new sugar guidelines recommending that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10 percent of their total energy intake -- and another five percent for added health benefits. And that has beverage makers raising Cain.

WHO reported that a lot of today's sugar intake is "hidden" in processed foods where consumers are often unaware that they are taking them in. The organization stated, for example, that one tablespoon of ketchup contains around four grams of free sugars and a single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains up to 40 grams, or 10 teaspoons, of free sugars.

"We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10 percent of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay," said Dr. Francesco Branca, director of WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

"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," said Branca.

WHO stated that it was making its recommendation based on research that suggests adults who consume less sugar have lower body weight and that increasing the amount of sugar in a diet is connected with weight gain. WHO said in its statement on Wednesday that research also showed that children with the highest intake of sugar drinks are more likely to be overweight than children with low intake of such drinks.

The International Council of Beverages Associations pushed back against the WHO recommendations, saying industry members have done their own work to reduce sugar intake.

"ICBA is disappointed that the WHO has confirmed the conditional recommendation suggesting a further reduction of the intake of free sugars to below five percent of total energy intake, as it does not reflect scientific agreement on the totality of evidence," said the association's statement.

"(ICBA members) will continue to offer innovative ways to help consumers to achieve calorie balance though smaller portion sizes, no- and low-calorie beverages and transparent, fact-based nutrition information."

Sarah Roach, a fellow at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center, told National Public Radio that the WHO guidelines are helpful as a check against the food and beverage industry.


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The World Health Organization has issued new sugar guidelines recommending that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10 percent of their total energy intake -- and another five percent for added health benefits. And that has beverage makers raising Cain.
who, sugar, guidelines, beverage, makers
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2015-13-06
Friday, 06 Mar 2015 09:13 AM
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