At the end of March 2014, EPHA commented on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) draft guidelines for sugar intake for adults and children. Recently put forward for public consideration, the new proposals aim to lower daily sugar intake for the general global population from 10 to 5% of total calorie intake.
Consumption of free sugars (particularly in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages) may result in both reduced intake of foods containing nutritionally adequate calories (such as these coming from fruit and vegetables) and an increase in total caloric intake. As a result, it can lead to unhealthy diets, weight gain and an increased risk to a wide range of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).
In light of these circumstances, the WHO decided to update its 2002 guidelines for sugar intake for adults and children. The revisited guidelines provide a more adequate and ambitious response to the problem and provide recommendations on the consumption of sugars. They also put forward policy responses and public health interventions at national, regional and local levels.
The draft guidelines are based on WHO-commissioned analyses of all published scientific studies on the consumption of sugars and how that relates to excess weight gain and tooth decay in adults and children.