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Cut sugar intake to 5 teaspoons a day, scientists urge

Published on December 18, 2013,

The Telegraph is reporting Newcastle University scientists who are warning that sugar intake should be halved to just five teaspoons a day after treats which have traditionally been saved for birthdays or Christmas have become everyday staples. Although this is essentially about dental hygiene and decay, it appears yet another adverse consequence of rising sugar consumption – especially hidden sugar consumption…

Français : Echantillons de différents sucres, ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…Since 1990 the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that intake of “free sugars” should be less than 10 per cent of total energy (calorie) intake.

Free sugars are sugars that are added to foods by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer; plus those naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates.

Researchers recommend halving the threshold to less than 5 per cent of calories – around five teaspoons a day – would bring further benefits, minimising the risk of dental cavities throughout life.

They claim halving the 10 teaspoon level would allow people to ‘keep their teeth for life.’

Paula Moynihan, Professor of Nutrition and Oral Health at Newcastle University said: “Part of the problem is that sugary foods and drinks are now staples in many people’s diet in industrialised countries, whereas once they were an occasional treat for a birthday or Christmas. We need to reverse this trend.

“People now expect to keep their teeth into old age and given that the effects of sugars on our teeth are lifelong then limiting sugars to less than 5 per cent of the calories we eat would minimise the risk of dental caries throughout life.”

…Professor Moynihan added: “The public need better information on the health risks of sugary foods and drinks and there needs to be clearer information on the levels of sugars in our foods and drinks. We need to make it easier for people to make healthier choices when it comes to sugars by ensuring that options lower in added sugars are made widely available in schools, shops and the workplace.”

The study was published in the Journal of Dental Research.

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