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WHO: Daily Sugar Intake should make up 5% of Calories

Update Date: Mar 06, 2014 11:48 AM EST

Despite how good sugar might taste, several studies have tied sugar to many health conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Based from these findings, many countries and individuals states within those countries have tried to limit people's sugar intake. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has decided to officially recommend people to keep their daily sugar intake to a target goal of five percent of one's daily caloric intake. However, WHO did not change their previous recommendation of keeping daily sugar intake to below 10 percent of one's daily caloric intake.

In the statement, the agency reported, according to BBC News, "WHO's current recommendation, from 2002, is that sugars should make up less than 10% of total energy intake per day. The new draft guideline also proposes that sugars should be less than 10% of total energy intake per day. It further suggests that a reduction to below 5% of total energy intake per day would have additional benefits."

The agency decided to name five percent as the target goal after examining the results from nearly 9,000 studies. These studies revealed that successfully reducing sugar intake was tied to effectively fighting off health diseases and conditions such as obesity and cavities. For people living in America, who tend to eat more sugar, this new recommendation represents roughly a reduction of sugar intake by two-thirds.

"A high level of consumption of free sugars is of concern, because of its association with poor dietary quality, obesity," the agency wrote according to the AFP.

WHO stated that this recommendation should apply to all kinds of sugars that get added into foods as well as sugar that naturally occurs in other products such as honey, syrups and fruit concentrates or juices.

"The less sugar you're eating, the better," said Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California reported by the Washington Post. "If the sugar threshold is lowered, I think breakfast cereal is going to have a really hard time justifying its existence."

The updated guidelines will be subjected to public consultation until the end of this month before the agency will make firm recommendations most likely by this summer.

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