Sugar consumed should be less than 5% of your daily dietIn their continued efforts to stem the tide of the growing obesity epidemic, CNN reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) wants you to cut back on sugar. So how much is too much? According to the new guidelines drafted this week, its suggested that you get less than 5% of your daily calories from sugar. These guidelines significantly lessen the recommendation from 2002, which allowed up to 10% of your total caloric intake to come from sugar.
Americans consume too much sugar
One thing we know for sure is that Americans are consuming much more than the recommended daily sugar total. In fact, according to the USDA, our consumption of sugar has skyrocketed from 1959 to 2000, increasing an estimated 39%. Guess how much sugar youre now consuming each week- 3 pounds!
So how much sugar is too much? Assuming you are a normal adult with a normal body mass index, if you consume 5% of your daily calories in sugar this should be about 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons. Unfortunately, this level of sugar consumption is less than what you would consume if you drank a 12 ounce, single serving of soda, which has an estimated 40 grams of sugar.
Whats to blame for the increase? Much of the blame for the increase is due to the increased consumption of soda or sugary-sweetened beverages. Unfortunately, regardless of how we are consuming sugar, the effects of too much sugar in our bodies can be devastating, often leading to obesity (which contributes to heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure). The World Health Organization has also seen a significant increase in dental diseases in countries throughout the world due to increased sugar consumption.
But before you think cutting out that second can of soda may do the trick, think again. Researchers believe you will also need to track naturally flavored products such as fruit juices, concentrates, honey and syrup, which all have sugar. Food experts also note that sugar can be hidden, which means cutting out sodas and sweets wont be enough. Low fat items such as pizza, bread and soup may also have sugar added to improve the flavor.
Tracking sugar could get simpler
If you dont mind the government spending millions of unnecessary dollars, you will be happy about the proposed changes to the nutrition labels. The good news is the changes are supposed to make tracking the nutritional value of food, including sugar, easier for consumers.
The comments provided by WHO will be made public beginning in late March of this year. Recommendations will then be published. Read your labels, reduce your sugar intake to less than 5% each day and take heed of naturally occurring sugar when it has been added by the manufacturer and you should be well on your way to improving your diet.
Is obesity considered a disabling health condition?
No, obesity is not currently automatically considered a disabling health condition, although when evaluating your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) case the Social Security Administration will note how obesity may make it difficult for you to retrain for new work. Additionally, if you have other severe health conditions related to your obesity, some of these may be considered disabling.