March 4, 2015

Statement on WHO Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children

Statement on WHO Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children

Today the International Council of Beverages Associations released the following statement on
the WHO guideline “Sugars intake for adults and children.”

ICBA fully supports efforts by the WHO to reduce non-communicable diseases and promote
active and healthy lifestyles in communities worldwide. However, policymakers need to ensure
that dietary recommendations are based on the totality of evidence-based science to address
important health challenges such as obesity and dental caries.

ICBA is disappointed that the WHO has confirmed the conditional recommendation suggesting
“a further reduction of the intake of free sugars to below 5% of total energy intake”, as it does
not reflect scientific agreement on the totality of evidence. In fact, the WHO recommendation is
principally based on three studies about sugar consumption and dental caries that were judged
to be of “very low scientific quality” by the researchers selected by WHO to conduct the
evidence review. Regarding obesity, there is no scientific basis for treating free sugars
differently than intrinsic sugars.

ICBA encourages all parties to focus on what the WHO has clearly defined as the primary cause
of obesity: an imbalance between calories in (those consumed from all foods and beverages)
and calories out (those burned through physical activity and keeping your body’s metabolism

ICBA welcomes the opportunity to work with the WHO and other stakeholders to pursue
effective and practical solutions to these health issues. The solutions should focus on collective
efforts across government, civil society and industry that promote balanced diets, regular
physical activity and proper oral hygiene.

Our members will continue to offer innovative ways to help consumers to achieve calorie
balance though smaller portion sizes, no- and low-calorie beverages and transparent, factbased
nutrition information.

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