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Medical News & Perspectives
October 28, 2009

AHA: Added Sugar Not So Sweet

JAMA. 2009;302(16):1741-1742. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1534

The American Heart Association (AHA) has joined the assault on added dietary sugar, proposing dramatic reductions in the consumption of soft drinks and other sweetened products as a way to reduce risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease.

In a scientific statement released August 24, the AHA said persons in the United States consume on average about 111 g (22.2 teaspoons), or 355 calories, of discretionary sugar per day and called for setting a “prudent” daily upper limit of just over 30 g (6 teaspoons or 100 calories) of added sugars for average-sized women and just over 45 g (9 teaspoons or 150 calories) for average-sized men (Johnson RK et al. Circulation. 2009;120[11]:1011-1020). The statement's authors singled out soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages as the primary source of added sugars in individuals' diets. They cited findings from observational studies that suggest higher consumption of soft drinks is associated with greater energy intake, greater body weight, and lower intake of essential nutrients.

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