Dental experts call for radical rethink on free sugars intake

Sugars in the diet should make up no more than 3 percent of total energy intake to reduce the significant financial and social burdens of tooth decay, finds new research. The study, published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health, analysed the effect of sugars on dental caries, also known as tooth decay. Tooth decay is the most common non-communicable disease in the world, affecting 60-90% of school-age children and the vast majority of adults.

-The latest research suggests that 5% should be the absolute maximum, with a target of less than 3%. Current guidelines from the World Health Organisation set a maximum of 10% of total energy intake from free sugars, with 5% as a ‘target’. This equates to around 50g of free sugars per day as the maximum, with 25g as the target. The latest research suggests that 5% should be the absolute maximum, with a target of less than 3%.

-Even in children, an increase from near-zero sugar to 5% of energy doubles the prevalence of decay and continues to rise as sugar intake increases.

-Researchers used public health records from countries across the world to compare dental health and diet over time across large populations of adults and children.

In order to address the issue of tooth decay, the authors recommend a series of radical policy changes to reduce sugar consumption. “We need to make sure that use of fruit juices and the concept of sugar-containing treats for children are not only no longer promoted, but explicitly seen as unhelpful. Food provided at nurseries and schools should have a maximum of free sugars in the complete range of foods amounting to no more than 2.5% of energy.

Original Source: Briefly Today