Federal guidelines on daily dietary sugar intake could be based on poor evidences, reports a recent study.
Guidelines On Daily Sugar Intake Backed Up With Poor Evidences
A team of researchers from McMaster University and The Hospital for Sick Children, who reviewed up to nine public dietary recommendations on sugar intake, including World Health Organization and U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, argue that they are backed up by evidences of poor quality.
While the study raises doubts on the quality of federal dietary guidelines, it doesn't encourage the consumption of sugary and nutrient-poor foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, said Bradley Johnston, the lead author of the study.
What Is The Alternative For Sugar?
Johnston added that while it is advisable to limit the amount of daily sugar intake, the biggest question of the day is to what extent it should be limited. Furthermore, if one limits the amount of sugar in diet, what is the alternative suggested to replace it, questioned the researcher.
The professor pointed out a similar recommendation in the past, which encouraged a low-fat diet that made the public and the people from food industry replace fat with simple sugars, which paved way for various health outcomes such as diabetes and obesity.
Given that if sugar in diet has to replaced, people may increase the intake of starch and additives such as maltodextrine. Taking such additives not only provides same calories as that of sugar but also increases the body's glycemic index.
Conflicts In Recommendations From Leading Authorities
On the other hand, the recommendations from leading authorities vary significantly from each other. For instance, WHO recommends sugar intake that accounts to less than 5 percent of dietary calories per day, while Institute of Medicine limits sugar intake to less than 25 percent of dietary calories taken every day.
When the recommendations from reliable authorities contradict with each other, they not only pave way for confusion among people but also make them skeptic about the quality of the guidelines and the quality of evidences the guidelines are prepared with, added Johnston.
However, Behnam Sadeghirad, a McMaster PhD student, said that none of the guidelines issued currently on the daily intake of sugar is associated with poor health outcomes. Therefore, it is expected that the current findings would promote them in coming up with more reliable recommendations in the future.
"Overall, I would say the guidelines are not trustworthy," said Johnston, reported NPR. "What's happening is that guideline panelists are making strong recommendations based on low-quality evidence."
The study is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.