Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

WHO Releases Sugar Guidelines

The World Health Organization has recommended that adults and children reduce their daily intake of sugars, excluding sugar in fruits, vegetables and milk, to less than 10% of their total energy intake. Halving this to six teaspoons per day would provide additional health benefits.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

“The recommendations in the final report are consistent with those in the draft report released in 2014 for public comment. There is strong evidence that children and adults should consume less than 10% of kilojoules from free sugars to reduce the risk of dental caries and decrease their contribution of empty kilojoules and refined carbohydrate to the diet. For adult Australians consuming 8700 kJ per day, this translates into consuming no more than 55 grams of free sugars per day, or less than 13 teaspoons.

“There is some evidence that eating no more than 5% of energy from added sugars may further reduce the risk of developing dental caries, although it is noted that the quality of the evidence to support this was low.

“Eating 10% of kilojoules from free sugars should not be interpreted as looking for foods and drinks with no more than 10 grams of sugars per 100 grams of food as that would be 10% of the weight of the food, not the kilojoules, and the term ‘sugars’ in nutrition information panels refers to all sugars (added and naturally occurring) – not free sugars.”

Dr Alan Barclay is Chief Scientific Officer of the GI Foundation, and a consultant dietitian and nutritionist.


“The WHO report on free sugars and health makes it much clearer that the principal concern about...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.