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Sugar guidelines: World Health Organization proposes cutting sugar consumption

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Sugar guidelines have been released by the World Health Organization, and people are not going to like what the organization has to say. The World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging people to eat less than 5 percent of their total daily calories from sugar, according to a CNN report on Friday afternoon. Twelve years ago, the organization recommended that a person eat less than 10 percent of his or her total daily calories from sugars. Unfortunately, most Americans eat much more – regardless of the past and present guidelines set. It is reported that the average American currently consumes about three pounds of sugar per week.

Historically, from 1950 to 2000, sugar consumption increased 39 percent, according to the USDA. While the focus tends to be on obesity in recent years, dental concerns should also be spotlighted, according to a WHO statement. The organization’s statement says that there is increasing concern that consumption of free sugars, particularly in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages, may result in an increase in total caloric intake which leads to an unhealthy diet, weight gain and increased risk of non-communicable disease.

Sugar consumption, says WHO, is an enormous cause of dental diseases throughout the globe.

Therefore, an adult at a normal body mass index – or BMI – should only eat approximately 25 grams of sugar to equate to the sugar guideline of 5 percent. That is six teaspoons of sugar. On regular-sized can of soda contains 40 grams of sugar.

Furthermore, WHO’s guidelines include sugars that are added to foods by manufacturers as well as sugars that are naturally found in some foods – such as fruit juices and honey.

To calculate the amount of calories from sugar per serving of an item of food or drink, one should multiply the number of grams of sugar by 4.

The public is invited to comment on WHO’s recommendations until the end of March. Then the organization will publish its final recommendation for sugar consumption.

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