World Health Organization: Stop eating sugar!

(Photo: Flickr / terren in Virginia)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging people to stop eating too much sugar. They have drafted a proposal asking individuals to consume less than 5% of their total daily calories from sugars.

The organization's current guideline, published in 2002, recommends eating less than 10% of your total daily calories from sugars. However, most Americans consume way more than that.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shared that between the 1950s and 2000s our sweet tooth increased 39% . Today, the average American now consumes about three pounds of sugar each week.

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

Another great concern is the role of how these free sugars play in the development of dental diseases, particularly dental caries. Dental diseases cause pain, anxiety, functional limitation and social handicap through tooth loss, for large numbers of people worldwide.

"The objective of this guideline is to provide recommendations on the consumption of free sugars to reduce the risk of NCDs in adults and children, with a particular focus on the prevention and control of weight gain and dental caries," says WHO.

This draft guideline was developed in accordance with WHO's procedures for evidence-informed guideline development. WHO Member States and all relevant stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft guideline. The public consultation will be open through March 31, 2014.

The draft guideline will also undergo peer-review and public consultation. Once reviewed and completed, the guideline will be finalized and reviewed by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee (GRC) for final clearance before its official release.

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