Table of Contents
Stick to just ONE can of coke a week: Bold new plea from scientists who fear consuming any more than that could trigger heart attacks and even cancer
- Excess consumption of added sugar is linked to 45 different health conditions
- The WHO recommends people consume up to six teaspoons of sugar per day
If you’re about to reach for a second can of sugary pop, you may want to think again.
Experts have said people should drink a maximum of one sugary drink a week – or risk a host of health problems from heart attacks to cancer.
A major review of research into added sugars found excess consumption is linked to 45 different health conditions.
And those who enjoy sugary drinks – such a fizzy drinks, smoothies and fruit juices – could be at particular risk.
They are urging people to stick to the World Health Organizations’ six teaspoons a day to stave off the risks, ranging from diabetes to tooth decay.
A major review of research by scientists in the US and China into added sugars, found excess consumption is linked to 45 different health conditions
This is the equivalent of a 45g bar of chocolate, five chocolate digestives or two 150ml glasses of fruit juice.
Scientists in the US and China reviewed evidence involving 8,601 articles covering 83 health outcomes in adults and children.
They found sugar sweetened beverage consumption was significantly associated with increased body weight.
For every sugary drink consumed, people have a 17 per cent higher risk of heart disease – which leads to heart attack and stroke, had a 4 per cent higher risk of death overall and 4 per cent higher risk of gout.
Significant harmful associations were found between dietary sugar consumption and 18 endocrine or metabolic issues including diabetes, gout and obesity.
It was also firmly linked to ten cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke as well as seven cancers including breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
Excess sugar was also associated with other health issues such asthma, tooth decay and depression, according to the findings published in the BMJ.
Even fructose, a naturally occurring sugar found in many fruit juices, was linked to an incremental 22 per cent increased risk of pancreatic cancer, for every 25g a day consumed.
The authors acknowledge that most of the evidence is observational, stating that further research is needed into the relationship between ‘free’ sugars and health issues.
But they recommend limiting the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages to less than one, 200-355ml serving a week – the equivalent of a standard can – and sugar to below 25g a day – approximately six teaspoons.
‘To change sugar consumption patterns, especially for children and adolescents, a combination of widespread public health education and policies worldwide is urgently needed,’ they said.
How much sugar is too much sugar?
The amount of sugar a person should eat in a day depends on how old they are.
Children aged four to six years old should be limited to a maximum of 19g per day.
Seven to 10-year-olds should have no more than 24g, and children aged 11 and over should have 30g or less.
Meanwhile the NHS recommends adults have no more than 30g of free sugars a day.
Popular snacks contain a surprising amount of sugar and even a single can of Coca Cola (35g of sugar) or one Mars bar (33g) contains more than the maximum amount of sugar a child should have over a whole day.
A bowl of Frosties contains 24g of sugar, meaning a 10-year-old who has Frosties for breakfast has probably reached their limit for the day before they even leave the house.
Children who eat too much sugar risk damaging their teeth, putting on fat and becoming overweight, and getting type 2 diabetes which increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.