WHO recommends cutting sugar intake in half!

Upper limit for a week?

Upper limit of sugar consumption for a week?

Big news today, the war on sugar is heating up. The World Health Organization is planning new dietary guidelines, where the proposed recommendation is to cut sugar intake in half!

The old upper limit of 10 percent sugar intake of total energy intake per day will remain, but WHO says that a further lowering of the limit to 5 percent will provide more health benefits (for example in controlling weight gain and dental caries).

The new goal of 5 percent corresponds to an upper limit of about 25 gram (or six teaspoons) added sugar daily. This is less than the amount of sugar in a can of Coke (33 centiliter).

An average sugar consumption of 10 percent of total energy intake – like in Sweden where I live – means that about half the population consumes more than the previously recommended upper limit and more than twice as much as the new upper limit.

Most people on an LCHF diet will no doubt keep well below the new target by a large margin.

It remains to be seen whether the WHO new draft guidelines will survive a massive campaign from well-funded sugar-lobbyists. Let’s hope so!

Let’s also hope that governments issuing dietary guidelines will embrace new science and lower their recommendations.


“Fat Is In, Sugar Is Out”

Is There a Safe Amount of Sugar?

New Study: Does Sugar Cause Heart Disease?

Doctors Warn: “Sugar Is the New Tobacco”


  1. FrankG
    Make your voice heard!

    WHO | Draft Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children


    Online public consultation open: 5 to 31 March 2014

  2. tz
    "An average sugar consumption"

    "Consumption" is in English (at least American English) a synonym for "Tuberculosis".

    Yet sugar and "consumption" seem to have similar results.

    Reply: #7
  3. Boundless

    "WHO’s current recommendation, from 2002, is that sugars should make up less than 10% of total energy intake per day."

    I notice the complete lack of any apology for this, despite the fact that it's 200% of the new proposed limit. I expect this to be typical for sources of consensus dogma on diet. What people need to take from this to not trust them as reliable sources of information.

    "... a reduction to below 5% of total energy intake per day would have additional benefits."

    5% of calories from net carbs of all kinds would be a more impressive recommendation.

    "The suggested limits on intake of sugars ... that are added to food by the manufacturer, the cook or the consumer, as well as sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates."

    The story on DD depicts cubes of sucrose. The Draft Guideline page on WHO, more interestingly, depicts pop, honey, muffins, candy and ketchup.

    If WHO can actually get people to look at the sugar content on packages, people are going to be shocked at the pervasive extent of sugar contamination in prepared foods, what a significant diet change is necessary to get down to 5%-of-cal from sugar, and just how little available packaged food supports that goal.

    "... studies on the consumption of sugars and how that relates to excess weight gain and tooth decay in adults and children."

    Many people who elect to go sugar-free are unaware of the wider general problem with high glycemic carbs. If they replace the sugar calories with grain calories (esp. modern wheat), they can expect to see NO change in weight and NO change in dental problems (wheat is just as destructive to teeth as sugar). People are apt to then conclude that WHO's advice is worthless, which I think is a point I made earlier.

  4. Masrk
    Going on about sugar whilst telling people they should be eating several hundred grammes of glucose polysaccharides makes very little sense.
    There are more sugar molecules in carbohydrates the food industry dosn't call "sugars" than those which it does. If what actually matters is the number of sugar molecules then the results of such advice could be worst.
    If what matters is glucose then "starch" would be considerably worst than sucrose or lactose.
    Do fructose and galactose "hyperglycemia" exist as medical conditions? A high carbohydrate diet is always likely to high in glucose, but demonisation of "sugars" means that such diets are even higher in glucose than they would otherwise be. (The only non glucose polysaccharide humans can digest being galactan.)
    The other (odd) thing is that the human digestive system hydrolises sucrose and lactose last. With the very first digestive enzyme humans apply to food being alpha amylase...
    I just don't understand why there is so little fuss about amylopectin, amylose and maltodextrins.
  5. Zepp
    American Diabetes Association Embraces Low-Carbohydrate Diets. Can You Believe It?


    Reply: #6
  6. Boundless
    > American Diabetes Association Embraces Low-Carbohydrate Diets.
    > Can You Believe It?

    No, you can't.
    It was, alas, a satire.
    "Is this real? No. It’s not real. It could be real if the American Diabetes Association adopts it. "

  7. Lupa
    Actually the (now obsolete) historical name of Consumption for Tuberculosis derives from the fact that TB makes you emaciated, and people suffering from TB look like they are being consumed by something.

    So it expresses the idea that the person is being consumed and is not a reference to what they are consuming.

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