Experts are concerned that sugar is creating higher levels of obesity and causing increasing diabetes levels. Guidelines state that people should drink one glass of fruit juice each day, as families are consuming too much sugar.
The warning has been issued by health officials as a study has found that young people are consuming about 40% more sugar than they should on a daily basis. The main culprits are fizzy drinks and fruit juices.
A senior nutritionist has advised that children and adults should limit their fruit juice consumption to 150ml per day, and this should be drunk with a meal. This is the first time this limit has been recommended.
Public Health England’s chief nutritionist, Dr Alison Tedstone, has stated that school-aged children should drink low-fat milk and water. Fruit juice is good too as it is considered to be one of the five-a-day fruit and vegetables. It should be noted that some fruit juices contain four times the amount of sugar recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Dr Tedstone indicated that the study has shown the need for an adjustment in habits, particularly as far as children and teenagers are concerned.
She said that sugar should not exceed more than 11% of the daily calorie consumption and at present every age group is exceeding that limit.
The level of added sugar in the 10-year age group amounted to 14.7% of their daily calorie intake. For those aged 11 to 18, it makes up 15.6%. Among adults, the amount was 12.1%. Boys under the age of 10 made up their daily amount by 15% from fruit juice and a further 17% from other drinks. Girls of the same age obtained 12% from fruit juice and 16% from other drinks. As children aged, the levels increased to 42% for boys and 38% for girls.
The next contributor to sugar in the diet is cereal and cereal bars.
Health officials are concerned about the level of sugar in fruit juice, since so many people believe that juice is a healthier option.
Almost 67% of adults in the UK are obese or overweight, and by the time children start primary school, more than 20% of them fall into this category. There are forecasts that by 2025 about five million people will develop diabetes. This is twice as many as was recorded five years ago.
The survey found that people have not changed their eating habits between 2008 and 2012 and most were failing at meeting any of the national healthy diet guidelines.
Boys ate only three portions of their daily recommended five fruits and vegetables, and girls only 2.7. Adults aged under 64 ate 4.1 portions, while those aged over 65, ate 4.6. A recent study suggested that seven or 10 portions should be consumed on a daily basis.
Image Credit: Chris Isherwood