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New guidelines to deal with non-communicable diseases

Published:Friday | March 6, 2015 | 3:00 AM

UNITED NATIONS (CMC):

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday issued new guidelines recommending adults and children worldwide to reduce their daily sugar intake to boost health and stave off non-communicable diseases.

The WHO said intake of 'free' sugars, monosaccharides, such as glucose, fructose and disaccharides, sucrose or table sugar, should make up less than 10 per cent of daily energy intake, while a reduction below five per cent of energy intake per day would provide additional benefits.

"We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10 per cent of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay," said Dr Francesco Branca, director of WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

"Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases."

The WHO's recommendations are based on evidence showing that adults who consume less sugar have lower body weight and that increasing the amount of sugars in the diet is associated with a weight increase. It also shows that children with the highest intakes of sugar-sweetened drinks are more likely to be overweight or obese than children with a low intake of sugar-sweetened drinks.