This week, the World Health Organization sent the food and sugar industries into a tailspin by changing their sugar intake guidelines for the first time in over 10 years. WHO lowered the daily recommended intake of sugar by half, making it currently 6 teaspoons or approximately 25 grams. Most processed food easily surpasses this amount. In fact, sugar is one of the staple ingredients.

Prevent Disease referenced a recent study:
“Research three years ago by the Emory School of Medicine in the US found that some adults were eating 46 teaspoons of sugar a day. This included six in a bowl of cereal, 14 for lunch including a slice of pizza and a fizzy drink, and 16 for a ready meal in the evening with another sugary beverage. Kellogg’s was criticised last year by the Advertising Standards Agency for claiming that high sugar was not linked to obesity. Its Coco Pops website claimed: ‘A panel of world health experts recently reviewed all the evidence and concluded that a high sugar intake is not related to obesity, or the development of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer. Nor was it connected to behavioural problems, such as hyperactivity, in children.’ But it is. Added sugar is indeed a problem, but the framework the WHO is suggesting here will encompass more than just added white sugar.”

The article goes on to state that processed foods with reduced sugars will actually need more artificial processing to make up for the loss.

The Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, Dr. Francesco Branca, told a briefing, “The reason we are focusing on sugar is that we really have seen the important association with weight gain and obesity is a major public health concern for many countries, an increasing concern.”

Statistics validate this concern. CBC reports: “Between 1985 and 2011, the prevalence of adult obesity in Canada increased from 6.1 per cent to 18.3 per cent, based on self-reported heights and weights, according to a study published earlier this year in CMAJ Open. The latest research suggests obesity costs Canada’s health system $6 billion a year.”

In America, Bloomberg had equally troubling statistics: “Some 35.7 percent of Americans 20 to 74 years old were obese in the period from 2009 to 2012, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. That’s up from 31.1 percent a decade earlier and 13.3 percent in 1960-1962. The CDC considers adults obese when their body mass index, which takes into account weight and height, is 30 or higher.”

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