The Debate: How much sugar is OK?

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald December 20, 07:53 pm
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World Health Organisation report finds poor countries plagued with fake drugs
How much sugar is enough?
(Photo : (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images))

The Annals of Internal Medicine debunked various advisories and recommendations on the proper amount of added sugar that each person should consumer to remain healthy after it published a review paper saying that the present guidelines could be wrong as these are based on evidence classified as low-quality and did not adhere to the Institute of Medicine's standards. Where would that leave the World Health Organization advisory that dietary sugar consumption should not exceed six teaspoons then?

"Although our findings question the specific sugar recommendations from guidelines produced by leading authorities, the findings should not be used to justify high or increased consumption of sugary foods and beverages," said Bradley Johnston, a scientist at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. Johnston, who is the senior author of the paper, is also assistant professor in Canada's McMaster University department of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics.

CNN said experts however questioned the new findings considering that funds for the research came from non-profit organization International Life Sciences Institute, which has ties to Hershey's, Coca-Cola and other companies that are into food manufacturing. University of California, San Francisco Professor Dr. Dean Schillinger said the junk food industry benefits from the study which indicates that the limits on sugar is based on junk science.

American Heart Association said sugar could be naturally occurring such as those found in food or added such as white or red sugar and honey which are added to food. Advertisements have encouraged the consumption of food with added sugar such as soft drinks, cakes, fruit drinks and dairy dessert.

Nine guidelines on sugar all over the world were used by Johnston and the other reviewers before they came up with the findings. Johnston said there is a need to improve the quality of evidence they use in making their recommendations if they want to do a better job. Consumers will however have to wait for 2020 if they want to compare the findings with the dietary guidelines of the United States federal government according to the Baltimore Times.

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