New WHO Guidelines for Sugar Intake

The World Health Organization (WHO ) wants you to stop eating too much sugar.

Based on new guidelines proposed this week, WHO is encouraging people to consume less than 5% of their total daily calories from sugars.

Current guidelines from the organization, published in 2002, recommend consuming less than 10% of total daily calories from sugars.

«There is growing concern that consumption of sugars, particularly in the form of sweetened beverages … may result in an increase of total caloric intake , leading to an unhealthy diet , weight gain and increased risk of noncommunicable diseases» the WHO said in a statement.

A particular concern is the role of sugars in dental diseases.

For an adult with a normal body mass ingest 5% sugar would be about 25 grams of sugar or six tablespoons. That’s less than what is typically found in a single can of soda, which contains about 40 grams of sugar.

To find the amount of calories of sugar in a product, multiply the grams by four. For example, a product containing 15 grams of sugar has 60 calories of sugar per serving, according to the Heart Association of America. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, is 3% .

The proposed WHO guidelines apply to sugars added by manufacturers to foods as well as those found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. These do not apply to those found in fresh produce. A majority of the sugars consumed are ‘hidden’ and found in processed foods not usually considered sweetened.

The WHO guidelines are available for public comment until March 31.