AHA Recommends Limiting Added Dietary Sugars

Scientific Statement sets upper limits for daily intake in women, men

TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Americans' average daily intake of added sugars significantly exceeds discretionary calorie allowances, regardless of energy needs, and should be reduced by up to three-quarters, according to an American Heart Association Scientific Statement published online Aug. 24 in Circulation.

Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., of the University of Vermont in Burlington, and colleagues reviewed recent evidence to update previous AHA recommendations on minimizing the intake of added sugars from beverages and foods.

The researchers cited research showing that total daily calorie intake during the past 30 years has increased by an average of 150 to 300 calories with no corresponding increase in physical activity. According to the researchers, the average American consumes 22.2 teaspoons per day of added sugars (355 calories), mostly from sugar-sweetened beverages; a level that may significantly contribute to the epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases.

"If a person chooses to consume alcohol as well, then intake of solid fats and added sugars should be further reduced to accommodate the additional calories from alcohol. Depending on the calorie level, recommendations for added sugars vary from five teaspoons per day (or 80 calories) for a daily expenditure of 1800 calories for an average adult women to nine teaspoons per day (or 144 calories) for a daily energy expenditure of 2200 calories for an average adult man," the authors conclude.

Several co-authors reported financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, food manufacturers, and agricultural industry groups.

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