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Stiffer sugar guidelines recommended

Stiffer sugar guidelines recommended

A can of Coke could soon be more than a person’s recommended daily sugar intake, according to researchers. Today, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) stated that adults should reduce their daily intake of sugar to no more than seven teaspoons or cubes. This is half the current recommended amount and means a can of Coke would be over the ideal figure. They have made the suggestion to help try and combat spiralling obesity levels and the number of diabetes diagnoses.

The lower volume of sugar could help reduce the amount of children admitted to hospital with tooth decay which is also a growing problem.

SACN, which is an independent body of expert nutritionists, focused their research on free sugars, which are what are added to foods. They include sucrose or table sugar, glucose and those naturally present in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices but exclude lactose in milk and other milk products.

In its final report on carbohydrates and health, SACN recommend that free sugars account for no more than five per cent of a person’s daily energy intake. This would be the equivalent of 19g or five sugar cubes for children aged four to six years old, 24g or six sugar cubes for children aged seven to ten and 30g or seven sugar cubes for those aged 11 and over. After being asked to review the latest evidence on the links between consumption of carbohydrates, sugars, starch and fibre by the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency, SACN found that consuming too many high-sugar beverages increased the risk of type 2 diabetes. It also increased weight gain and BMI in children and teens as well as the previously mentioned tooth decay.

“The evidence is stark – too much sugar is harmful to health and we all need to cut back,” said Professor Ian Macdonald, chair of the SACN Carbohydrates and Health working group. “The clear and consistent link between a high-sugar diet and conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes is the wake-up call we need to rethink our diet. Cut down on sugars, increase fibre and we'll all have a better chance of living longer, healthier lives.”

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