The research was published in mid-March in the Canadian Journal of Public Health.
The World Health Organization (drop below 5% of total energy intake to increase health benefits.WHO) recommends limiting the consumption of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake and suggests going even further and% of total energy intake to increase health benefits.”,”text”:”to go below 5% of total energy intake to increase health benefits.”}}’>
However, according to the study, only 34% of Canadians respect the limit of 10% of their total energy intake and 6% of Canadians respect the ideal limit of 5%.
Free sugars include all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods, such as in processed products and naturally occurring sugars in honey, syrups and fruit juices.
It is important to note that the recommendation is not to completely cut out sugar, but to consume it in moderation.launches researcher Paul Veugelers of the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and co-author of the study.
Sugar costs $5 billion annually
The researchers conclude that if Canadians had followed the 10% drinking limit recommendation in 2019, approximately $2.5 billion could have been saved in health care costs and $5 billion in costs could have been avoided by following the more stringent 5% recommendation.
Chronic disease treatment and management accounts for approximately 67% of all health care costs in Canada, with an annual bill of $190 billion.
Limiting free sugar consumption to less than 10% of energy intake could reduce the prevalence of diabetes by 27%. If Canadians limited their sugar consumption to less than 5%, the decrease would be 44.8%.
Diabetes is simply a very expensive disease to manage and treat. It can happen at an early age and you can live with it for a very long time. It can lead to kidney problems, the need for dialysis, amputations, these are just a few horrific examples of the effects this disease can have. says Paul Veugelers.
The study also notes that in Canada, chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, accounted for 62% of all deaths in 2019 and that their treatment and management consume 67% of all direct costs. health care.
Adopting healthy lifestyles, such as healthy eating, active living, not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption, can prevent up to 80% of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as 40% of cancer cases.
The authors of the study note that about 40 countries and cities around the world have implemented a tax on sugary drinks such as soft drinks to deter consumption. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador recently introduced the first tax of this type in Canada.
The researchers advocate a broader approach, as they found that only 17% of Canadians’ sugar consumption comes from sugary drinks.
They want a tax on all products with added sugar, the revenue from which could be used to fund subsidies to promote healthy foods and invest in education.
They also recommend limiting advertising aimed at children and forcing the industry to better label products showing all the sugar they contain since many terms are used to designate sugar.