Viewpoint: World Health Organisation guidelines on recommended sugar intake

Interior block 3Simon Capewell is the University of Liverpool’s Professor of Clinical Epidemiology

“Yesterday, hopes of achieving anything resembling clarity from health authorities were again confounded.

“It was widely expected that WHO would halve the recommended sugar intake in its new draft guidance. Instead they came out with a mealy-mouthed compromises: they continue to recommend that sugar make up no more than 10 per cent of the energy we consume (or about 50g daily) but added that cutting this to five per cent would have “additional benefits”.

“I suspect that ‘dirty work’ by the food and drinks companies might lie behind the WHO’s less than resounding message.”

Professor Capewell is a founder member of the new medical pressure group Action on Sugar which aims to reduce the amount of added sugar in food and soft drinks to help tackle the obesity epidemic.

Action on Sugar claim that if major manufacturers committed to gradually reduced the amount of sugar in their products by one third, three to five years, the obesity epidemic could be “halted or reversed”.

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