Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sugar and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines

We are all too familiar with sugar as a driver for diabetes and excess weight. Yang et al[1]  piled on even more data to raise our concerns about sugar when their research found that people who had more sugar in their diet were more likely to die sooner from cardiovascular disease.

So today when I listened to the Dietary Guidelines Stakeholders Briefing convened by USDA and DHHS I was very interested in the recommendations on sugar. I knew that in March 2015 the World Health Organization released a new guideline that recommended adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake and that a further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.  I wanted to understand the rationale on deciding on the U.S. guideline of 10% instead of 5%. 

I was glad to be part of this briefing and liked the transparency of of being encouraged to type in our questions. As I typed in my question I could see the questions that others had asked and was looking forward to the answers about soy, caffeine, etc. When the moment for Q & A’s came up I was shocked that none of the questions that were posted were asked. I typed my question in again just in case someone had missed it…and still no response. I sent an email to and am still waiting for a response. A simple answer would be informative.  But I guess it is all related to why the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines were not released until 2016.

[1] Yang, Q., Zhang, Z., Gregg, E.W., Flanders, W., Merritt, R., Hu, F.B. “Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults,” JAMA Internal Medicine. 2014;174(4) Pgs. 516-524. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563.