You’re sweet enough. It’s time to cut back on the sugar. The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for a reduction of daily sugar intake to tackle tooth decay.
Sugar is the nasty little ingredient in many foods that can produce plaque and over all tooth decay. In the US, 92% of adults aged 20-64 have experienced dental cavities in at least one of their permanent teeth. Sugar can wreak havoc on teeth and cause obesity so it’s no wonder why WHO is trying to curb its prevalence.
In 2002, WHO recommended that daily consumption of natural sugars (that appear in honey, fruits, syrup, etc.) should make up a maximum of 10% of an individual’s energy intake, the equivalent of 50 g of free sugars per day. Now, WHO is recommending the target should be half of that or 5% of an individual’s energy intake. In the latest study in BMC Public Health, researchers support this proposed move but said the 5% figure should actually be the maximum daily sugar intake and the targeted should be about 3%.
The researchers in the study analyzed public health records from different countries. They compared dental health and sugar consumption over time among large populations of adults and children among large populations of adults and children. “Tooth decay is a serious problem worldwide and reducing sugar intake makes a huge difference,” says study author Aubrey Sheiham of the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health at University of College London.
Even with advancements in fluoride and improvements in dentistry, cavities still remain a worldwide problem in many adults and children. The researchers and WHO and many other industry professionals are coming to the same conclusions: sugar isn’t always sweet. It’s time to cut back.