Medics call for sugar intake to be halved

Posted Jul 17, 2015 by Tim Sandle
Medical experts are recommending that, based on the typical sugar consumption, each person should be making at least a 50 percent reduction. This is to off-set the risk of obesity and associated ill-health effects.
Sugar cubes
Sugar cubes
Uwe Hermann
The medical experts and scientists have made the recommendation to slash sugar consumption to the British government. This to ensure that a maximum of 5 percent of daily calories come from sugar. By sugar, the scientists are referring to "added sugar" rather than sugar found naturally in fruit or milk. The 5 percent of calorific intake equates to around seven teaspoonfuls of sugar per person per day. Most extra sugar comes from sweetened drinks, breakfast cereal, candy, fruit juice, and sugar sprinkled onto food.
The group behind the recommendation is The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). The group is officially constituted by the U.K. government to advise its main health body, Public Health England.
The advice has been given in order to off-set the rise in obesity and to address the growing problem of tooth decay. With the latter, 26,000 children, between the ages of five to nine, needed to go into hospital in England with tooth decay during 2014.
Commenting on the new recommendation, Professor Ian Macdonald, who is chair of the the advisory committee, told BBC News: "The evidence is stark - too much sugar is harmful to health and we all need to cut back. 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."
He added further: "Cut down on sugars, increase fibre and we'll all have a better chance of living longer, healthier lives."
The warning about sugar is likely to push some people towards artificial sweeteners. Some of these products, like aspartame, have been associated with safety concerns. Digital Journal recently surveyed advice relating to various artificial sweeteners.