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This guideline provides updated global, evidence-informed recommendations on the intake of free sugars to reduce the risk of NCDs in adults and children, with a particular focus on the prevention and control of unhealthy weight gain and dental caries. The recommendations in this guideline can be used by policy-makers and programme managers to assess current intake levels of free sugars in their countries relative to a benchmark. They can also be used to develop measures to decrease intake of free sugars, where necessary, through a range of public health interventions. Examples of such interventions and measures that are already being implemented by countries include food and nutrition labelling, consumer education, regulation of marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages that are high in free sugars, and fiscal policies targeting foods and beverages that are high in free sugars.
WHO calls on countries to reduce sugars intake among adults and children
Free sugars refer to monosaccharides such as glucose, fructose and disaccharides such as sucrose or table sugar added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. The WHO guideline does not refer to the sugars in fresh fruits and vegetables, and sugars naturally present in milk, because there is no reported evidence of adverse effects of consuming these sugars. For example, 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains around 4 grams around 1 teaspoon of free sugars. A single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains up to 40 grams around 10 teaspoons of free sugars.
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