WHO Recommends Reducing Sugar to Below 5 % of Calorie Intake

SugarThe World Health Organization is again urging people to lower sugar consumption.

"We should aim for five per cent [of daily intake] if we can … but 10 per cent is more realistic," said Dr. Francesco Branco, head of nutrition for health and development for WHO.

Five percent comes to about six to seven teaspoons of sugar a day.

Please note that a can of soda probably has more than 10 teaspoons of sugar.)

During a virtual press conference, Dr. discussed the new 5 per cent figure.

Please note these welcome reduce-sugar suggestions are considered only "draft recommendations" — which you can read here.

In fact, these not-yet-final recommendations will probably be quite contentious. Clearly, food companies won't like this cut-back-on-sugar advice and will, I imagine, try to get them to up the recommendations.

Got some thoughts thoughts about this recommendations? Get your voice heard.

The WHO is inviting public comments until March 31. Then the agency and scientific advisers will finalize the guidance.

Of course, the challenge among consumers today, as the WHO points out, is that most sugars consumed today are “hidden” in processed foods and therefore aren't seen as sweets.

For instance, 1 tablespoon of ketchup can contain 7 grams of sugar. (Divide by 4 to figure out how many teaspoons that is.)

A single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains about 40 grams (around 10 teaspoons) of sugar.

"Sugar … might become the new tobacco in terms of risk," Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of Nutrition for Health and Development for the WHO, said during the the virtual press conference.

Those sugars you can't see are, in fact, the biggest cause of alarm for those of us who advocate reducing sugar.

As the WHO observes, these hidden sugars are in condiments, sauces and more.

The WHO has been urging people to limit sugar calories to less than 10 per cent of their daily calories, but the 5 per cent target is new.

Dr. Branco was particularly concerned about soft drinks and children. 

"An average serving at a fast food place of sugar-sweetened soda … approaches 30 grams of sugar per serving," noted Branco. "That already exceeds the recommended daily serving for a child."

See the transcript here.

Kudos again to the WHO for the superb cut-back-on-sugar advice.

The mounds of research is irrefutable that cutting back on added sweeteners can benefit your moods, concentration, weight, and health, including sex drive.

What do you think? How much added sugars should people have and how much do you have? Weigh in here with your amount.

I'm a former sugar-addicted journalist, who reluctantly quit sugar on doctor's orders in 1998. When all 44 of my crippling ailments vanished, I began interviewing hundreds of experts worldwide so I could give you the sour scoop about sweets. Fast forward 17 years, and I'm now author of Sugar Shock (Berkley Books, 2006) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House, 2012). The latter gives you a simple, proven plan to easily squash your sugar habit. I'm also a motivational speaker, a certified life coach, a certified health coach, frequent media guest, and Gab with the Gurus host. I'm now planning the first first Sugar World Summit and I'm finishing writing my next book, Crush Your Crazy Cravings™, which will help you easily escape your must-have-junk-food moments.

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