The world health organization is stepping up its efforts in the war against obesity by recommending the halving of the intake of hidden sugar on a daily basis. The health agency is taking issue with the amount of sugar that people are consuming on a daily basis. Asking for the levels to be slashed to six teaspoons of sugar a day, which is less than the 10 teaspoons found in an average can of soda.
The new guidelines, however, do not refer to sugars in fresh vegetables, fruits, and milk as they have never been found to be harmful. Much of the harmful sugars consumed nowadays can be found in processed foods such as ketchup. The guidelines are part of WHO efforts aimed at battling obesity, tooth decay and a range of communicable diseases.
WHO is pushing for better labelling of the processed foods to show the amount of sugar hidden in food and drink products, to make it easy for consumers to make healthier choices in terms of their eating habits. Countries should spearhead efforts aimed at restricting the marketing of food and drinks with high sugar content according to the agency while also urging for talks with food manufacturers to reduce free sugar in processed foods.
Sugar intake varies widely depending on age and country; making 16-17% of the daily energy intake in adults in the U.K and Spain. Intake is higher among children with percentages high in countries like Portugal at 25%. Such higher sugar consumption according to research only goes to increase chances of obesity that heightens the risk of diabetes and cancer.
Studies have already shown a link between tooth decay and higher consumption of sugar something that WHO is also trying to combat under its new guidelines. Experts have already rallied about the risks of increased intake of processed sugar affirming that large amounts put people at higher risk of dying prematurely from heart problems cancer and diabetes.