Further to my last blog “SACN: Lowering the sugar recommendations” The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition have released their final report, which calls for current sugar recommendations to be halved. This means that in the UK individuals are recommended to have no more than 5% of their energy intake coming from Free Sugars in the diet.
What does this look like…..
This table shows the old <10% recommendations and the new <5% recommendations for men and women.
For children this is equivalent to:
19g (5 sugar cubes) for children aged 4 to 6;
24g (6 sugar cubes) for children aged 7 to 10, and
30g (7 sugar cubes) for 11 years and over.
What needs to change?
Children are currently consuming on average three times the new recommended amount of free sugars with between 30-40% of this sugar coming from sugary drinks. Children’s sugar consumption has not dropped at all in the last 5 years (Sustain newsletter 20th July 2015).
Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England (PHE), said:
“Sugary drinks have no place in a child’s daily diet, but account for almost a third of their daily sugar intake.”
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of PHE, said:
“One-fifth of 10 to 11 year olds are obese and almost two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese and sugary drinks are a major contributor. There is nothing good about a sugary drink, particularly if you are under the age of 11, and we must work together to find ways to wean ourselves from the sugar habit.”
The WHO and SACN report both refer too “free sugars” in the diet. Free sugars are sugars that are added to food, as well as sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates, not sugars in milk products and whole fruit & vegetables.
The Government has accepted SACN’s recommendations and are currently in the process of finalising a review from Public Health England of possible measures to reduce sugar intake throughout the UK. This report will be published later this summer. Watch this space…. Public Health is currently seeing many positive changes.