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Sugar Blues: How Sweet It Is (or Isn’t)

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Added sugars contribute about 17% of the average Americans calories perday and contributes to excess weight, obesity, cardiovascular disease,diabetes, metabolic syndrome and other health issues

Since 2003, the World Health Organization has recommend that peopleconsume less than 10% of their calories from added sugars.

In 2009, the American Heart Association recommended that Americanwomen should consume no more than 100 calories ( about 6 teaspoons ofadded sugars) per day and that American men should consume no morethan 150 calories (9 teaspoons) per day from added sugars. This is equal toabout 5.6 to 6.8% of calories.

The 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that no more than ~6.5% ofcalories come from added sugars.

Taken together, this means that we should all limit the percent of caloriesfrom added sugars to no more than 5-7.5% of calories, which is 1/3 to 1/2our current intake, which is about 15% of calories.  

About 50% of added sugar intake comes from sugar sweetened beverageswhich include soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and tea. 

Added sugars include the most commonly used sugars, sucrose and highfructose corn syrup, but also includes corn syrup, invert sugar, corn sugar,fruit juice, fruit juice ades, evaporated cane sugar, honey, and agave syrup.

The problems with added sugar:

- Added sugars contribute to weight gain and obesity.

- Added sugars contribute to cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndromeand diabetes.

- Added sugars increase the risk of gout.

- Added sugars contribute to dental caries

- Diets higher in added sugars are lower in nutrients

Yesterday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) announcedthat 10 health departments, 20 health and consumer organizations, and 41health professionals have signed a letter in support of its petition asking theFDA to:

- Initiate a rule-making proceeding to ensure that the content of sucrose andHFCS in beverages is limited to safe levels consistent with authoritativerecommendations.

- Revise the “Sugars” line on Nutrition Facts labels to address “addedsugars.”

- Set targets for lower levels of added sugars in other foods that providesignificant amounts.

- Conduct a public education campaign to encourage consumers to consumeless added sugars.

The petition also asks the FDA to work with the food industry to:

- Limit the sale of super-sized sugar-sweetened beverages in restaurants

- Limit the sale of super-sized sugar-sweetened beverages from vendingmachines

- Develop means to reduce the use of added sugars.

In Health,



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