WHO has published a new study that investigates why manufacturers and other supply chain actors use sugar in foods and why they use it in such large amounts. The publication “Incentives and disincentives for reducing sugar in manufactured foods: an exploratory supply chain analysis” concludes that a comprehensive approach encompassing the entire food system is necessary in order to reduce sugar intake.

WHO produced the report in response to the growing issue of consumption of excess free sugars throughout the WHO European Region. Consuming excess free sugars is associated with weight gain for adults and children.

The major sources of free sugars in the European diet include sugary drinks and so-called treat foods such as sweets, chocolates, cakes, pastries and biscuits. The term “free sugars” refers to all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus the sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. It does not include sugars present in whole fruits or vegetables.

According to WHO recommendations, intake of free sugars should be less than 10% of total daily energy intake for both adults and children, and ideally should be less than 5%.

To read the report in full on the WHO Europe website go to: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/nutrition/news/news/2017/12/challenging-the-supply-chain-to-reduce-sugar-in-foods