Storm brewing over WHO sugar proposal

Industry backlash expected over suggested cut in intake.

Scientists are gearing up for a battle with the food industry after the World Health Organization (WHO) moved to halve its recommendation on sugar intake.

Nutrition researchers fear a backlash similar to that seen in 2003, when the WHO released its current guidelines stating that no more than 10% of an adult’s daily calories should come from ‘free’ sugars. That covers those added to food, as well as natural sugars in honey, syrups and fruit juice. In 2003, the US Sugar Association, a powerful food-industry lobby group based in Washington DC, pressed the US government to withdraw funding for the WHO if the organization did not modify its recommendations. The WHO did not back down, and has now mooted cutting the level to 5%. Read more in Nature.

‘Safe’ levels of sugar harmful to mice

Diet comparable to that of many Americans left animals struggling to reproduce and to compete for territory.

Too much sugar is bad for you, but how much, exactly, is too much? A study in mice has found that the animals’ health and ability to compete can be harmed by a diet that has sugar levels equivalent to what many people in the United States currently consume. Read more in Nature.