Skip the soda and dump the donuts: The World Health Organization says that people across the globe are eating way too much sugar and need to drastically slash their intake.
The agency has issued new guidelines that recommend eating just 6 to 12 teaspoons — yes, teaspoons — a day. This applies to sugar that is added to processed food and found in juices and syrups, not sugar naturally found in fruit, milk, and vegetables. "We have solid evidence that keeping intake of [added] sugars to less than 10 percent of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity, and tooth decay," Francesco Branca, director of WHO's nutrition department, said in a statement.
Americans get about 13 percent of their calories from added sugar, which comes out to about 268 calories a day and 18 teaspoons, The Associated Press reports. To meet these new guidelines, they will have to cut their sugar intake by two-thirds. Experts say most people don't realize the amount of hidden sugars in their food, including items that aren't sweet, and the public's love of sugar is bordering on an addiction. "The trouble is, we really do like sugar in a lot of things," Oxford University's Kieran Clarke told AP. "Even if you are not just eating lollies and candy, you are probably eating a fair amount of sugar."