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Guidelines ask Americans to limit intake of added sugars

January 07, 2016 Washington — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture released updated nutritional guidelines Jan. 7 calling for Americans to limit their intake of added sugars.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture, this is the first time the guidelines have recommended a quantitative limit on a specific type of food. The new guidelines advise limiting the intake of added sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories consumed each day.

In May 2015, the Association filed comments on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which served as the basis for developing the new guideline.

"We commend the DGAC's due diligence in finding there is a moderate degree of consistent evidence about whether dental caries rates fluctuate based on the volume of added sugar(s) consumed," wrote former ADA president Maxine Feinberg and Executive Director Kathleen O'Loughlin. "The DGAC recommendation to limit added sugar(s) to a maximum of 10 percent of total daily caloric intake seems like a reasonable public health goal."

In November 2015, the ADA House of Delegates formally endorsed the World Health Organization's recommendation to limit added sugar consumption to less than 10 percent of daily caloric intake.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines are released every five years and help provide the general public, policymakers and health professionals with the latest evidence-based information to help the public make informed choices about their diets.

"Protecting the health of the American public includes empowering them with the tools they need to make healthy choices in their daily lives," said HHS Sec. Sylvia Burwell. "By focusing on small shifts in what we eat and drink, eating healthy becomes more manageable. The Dietary Guidelines provide science-based recommendations on food and nutrition so people can make decisions that may help keep their weight under control, and prevent chronic conditions, like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease."

For more information, visit Health.gov and ChooseMyPlate.gov. For information about diet and dental health, visit MouthHealthy.org.