The German Nutrition Society e. V. (DGE), the German Obesity Society e. V. (DAG) and the German Diabetes Society e. V. (DDG) today jointly publish a consensus paper with a recommendation on the maximum intake of free sugars in Germany. With the consensus paper, the three professional societies endorse the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 2015. Advocate for a maximum intake of free sugars of less than 10% of total energy intake. With a total energy intake of 2 000 kcal/day, this recommendation corresponds to a maximum intake of 50 g free sugars/day. These include monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by manufacturers or consumers, as well as naturally occurring sugars in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. The quantitative recommendation of the three professional societies is not to be understood in the sense of a recommended intake, but as a maximum upper limit.
High and frequent sugar intake promotes the development of overweight and obesity as well as numerous obesity-associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases and the development of caries. A low-sugar diet is beneficial to health.
Sugar intake in Germany
Data from consumption studies show that the intake of free sugars in Germany is well above the recommendation of less than 10 energy percent (En%), especially among younger age groups. While in the age group between 15 and 80 years the intake in women is about 14 en%, it is 13 en% in men. This corresponds to an intake of free sugars of 61 g/day for women and 78 g/day for men. Children and adolescents consume up to 17.5 en%. In order not to exceed the recommended intake of free sugars, the current intake would have to be reduced by at least 25%.
A large proportion of free sugar intake in Germany comes from confectionery (36%) and sugary beverages such as fruit juices and nectars (26%) and soft drinks (12%). In particular, the high consumption of sugary drinks can lead to a positive energy balance. Consequently lead to increased body weight as well as increased disease risks. Since sugar-sweetened beverages do not have a satiating effect, their consumption easily leads to an overall energy intake that is too high. The increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus due to the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages also exists independently of the influence on the energy balance.
Less sugar is more
The DGE recommends that consumers generally cut back on sugar in its "10 rules for a wholesome diet," updated in 2017. According to this study, those who consume highly processed and sugar-sweetened foods infrequently and in moderation and replace sugar-sweetened beverages with water or unsweetened teas can reduce their intake of free sugars. Children should not be exposed to high sugar intake in the first place. Accustom the associated sweet taste. Foods advertised specifically for children are often high in sugar and therefore unnecessary.
To date, behavioral preventive measures to promote health-promoting lifestyles have not led to the desired reduction in obesity or. Led to obesity and the associated diet-related diseases. For this reason, various nutritional policies from the field of ratio prevention are currently being applied worldwide, also with the aim of reducing sugar intake population-wide. In Germany, too, sugar content in finished products will be reduced from 2019 to 2025.
In the long term, a coordinated combination of behavioral prevention with various obligatory measures of relationship prevention, d. h. A holistic approach, useful to tackle the multi-causal problem of overweight or. To address obesity as well as the associated diet-related diseases.