How Have the Daily Sugar Recommendations Changed Over the Past 20 Years?


Quick Answer

The recommended daily sugar intake has decreased over the past 20 years, according to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. In 1995, the DGAC recommended a moderate daily intake of sugars. As of 2015, however, the DGAC recommends a low daily intake of sugar.

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Full Answer

The DGAC's 1995 dietary guidelines stated that people who are physically active may use sugars to supplement their energy needs. However, these guidelines cautioned against consuming foods and beverages with excessive amounts of sugar due to their high calories, low nutrients and contribution to tooth decay. The guidelines also encouraged the use of sugar substitutes for people trying to restrict their calorie intake.

The 2015 dietary guidelines promote a daily sugar intake of no more than 10 percent of total calories and discourage the use of sugar substitutes. Instead of focusing on limiting sugars, the guidelines encourage a shift toward an overall healthier diet, such as drinking water instead of sugary or diet beverages.

The World Health Organization previously recommended a daily sugar intake of 10 percent of total calories. As of 2014, however, the WHO encourages a daily sugar intake of 5 percent of total calories. Similarly, the American Heart Association suggests limiting sugars to 150 calories per day for men and 100 calories per day for women.

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