Sugar is the New Fat



The World Health Organization (WHO) has drafted a guideline recommending that added sugars make up no more than 10% of a person’s calories, and ideally just 5%. If you consume 1800 calories a day, then only 180 should come from added sugars. Divide 180 by 4 to get 45 grams of added sugar per day. A 12-ounce can of cola has 40 grams of sugar.

This recommendation is not new, as Marion Nestle points out in her blog. It’s just that for years the sugar industry has been able to silence the WHO through intense pressure on the US government, which in turn led to omitting low-sugar dosages from previous health guidelines.

The WHO’s draft guideline comes weeks after the FDA revealed its proposal for an updated nutrition label, which lists added sugars as a separate line item. The current label lists total sugars.

How will these policy changes affect our health?

Sugars have unequivocally been shown to cause excess weight gain (and cavities). There is no health benefit to consuming so much sugar. By spotlighting added sugars, consumers will be reminded to consume less.

It will be interesting to watch how the food industry responds. When fat was considered “evil” 40 years ago, a wave of unhealthy “low-fat” foods appeared. What will the low-sugar equivalent be? Hopefully something better than aspartame or stevia sweetened everything…


  • Casey

    Hopefully this will get more schools to stop overloading kids with sugar:

  • rubicon bill

    I know they will try to hide things in any new labeling system just as they do now. That’s a good reason to keep using Fooducate!

  • Toddy

    I actually enjoy sugar but must cut down on it.

    • Dily

      I just LOVE Sugar too!!

  • B

    Saying sugar is the new fat is a bit of an overstatement. The key difference is that all fat was previously considered evil whereas only added sugar is currently getting negative attention. In the past, even the good fat in avocado was shunned, but the current mindset is not that fruit is bad, only added sugar like the sugar found in soda.

    • Amanda

      I agree I know so many people who will not eat fruit because it’s high in sugar yet they will drink a soda or have a candy bar? It just doesn’t make sense, sugar isn’t a problem as long as it’s naturally found in the food.

  • Daniella

    How does fruit with natural sugars fall into the daily allowance?

    • Amanda

      It doesn’t, there’s no added sugar in fruit unless your buying it from a can. Sugar naturally found in fruit is absolutely fine, it’s added sugar that’s the problem.

    • Rebecca

      I still think you need to watch your sugar intake from fruits…eat more vegetables than you do fruit! And if you eat fruit, eat lower glycemic index fruits like berries

      • gferm

        Right on, Rebecca!

  • Andrew

    No sugar is the new cancer it makes hospitals aka concentration camps chemo profit World revolves around greed. I know we are the own image of advanced civilizations. I have evidence and I know we are a 13th colony we didn’t come from earth. Andromeda. History repeats with nuclear war.

  • Britt

    My problem with this is, sugar is just one of many carbohydrates. Any highly processed carbohydrate with no fiber has the same effect on the body as sugar. ALL carbohydrates turn to glucose when they’re metabolized. Granted, sugar is a very high quality carb with a high glycemic index, but not the only one. Concentrating on sugar alone sounds like a health tip from the 1940s. By the way, the total carbohydrate measure on the food labels includes sugar. Any health professional, especially those that are expert in the treatment and management of diabetes where blood glucose levels are a matter of life and death will tell their patients to ignore the amount of sugar and concentrate on the total carbohydrates label. If the label showed how much is natural sugar and how much is added, it might be useful simply so one could gage how much crap the product contains. But the sugar label lumps natural and man made sugars together.

    • Rebecca

      You’re right on here! What if we all just stopped consuming processed foods with labels and made our own food from real, whole foods….what would America look like then? I guarantee not what we look like now!

  • Gary Wardell

    “A 12-ounce can of cola has 40 grams of sugar”

    Wrong, canned soda contains corn syrup and/or artificial sweetener.

  • Mike

    What is wrong with Stevia? I have only heard positive comments about it unlike other artifical sweetners. Of course if it is mixed with maltodextrin to make it in powdered form, think Truvia, it is not the best option. But what is wrong with liquid Stevia?

  • maggie

    stevia shouldn’t be in the same category as aspartame. stevia is from a plant & is natural…not so w/aspartame, sweet n’low, or splenda…