It’s been long known that sugar is bad for the mouth. The tasty treat can cause tooth decay and cavities, and can even lead to pungent, bad breath. That’s why the World Health Organization is putting its foot down on the sweet substance. The United Nations agency has altered its sugar intake recommendation, cutting the amount in half.
On March 5, the organization published new draft guidelines that addressed concerns surrounding the negative effects that sugar has on one’s health. It reduced the recommended amount of sugar from 10 percent of your daily caloric intake to 5 percent. For an average-sized adult, that comes to around six teaspoons of the sweet stuff each day. However, that doesn’t mean a person can eat six spoonfuls of granulated sugar on a daily basis.
People often don’t realize that sugar is present in many foods they commonly eat – especially processed options. A 12-ounce can of soda, for instance, might have as many as 10 teaspoons of the substance, while a slice of bread may have around 5. While this amount includes sugars in processed foods as well as honey, juices and syrups, it does not include those that occur naturally, such as sugars in fruits.
Sugar, which is a known culprit of bad breath, was targeted for its role in dental diseases. As the most common noncommunicable diseases on earth, the World Health Organization hopes to decrease their prevalence and help people prevent the pain, tooth loss and gum disease other symptoms that come with dental issues. The guidelines also note the soaring expense of treating oral conditions – it can cost 5 to 10 percent of a person’s health budget. Not such a sweet way to spend your salary.
Additionally, the World Health Organization aims to reduce caloric intake and, in effect, obesity levels among Americans. There’s great concern that people who eat large amounts of free sugars consume too many empty calories and eat fewer foods that are naturally good for you, including options that are high in vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function. This can lead to weight gain and poor nutrition as well as a greater likelihood of obtaining noncommunicable diseases. In effect, those who cut down on the sweet treats may reduce their risk of heart conditions and diabetes as well as gingivitis, gum disease and other oral issues.