How much sugar per day should I eat?

Posted 07 August 2014

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting intake of free sugars* to less than 10% of total energy intake as part of a healthy diet (1). This is equivalent to 50g (or about 12 level teaspoons) for a person of healthy body weight consuming about 2000 calories per day. A further reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake is suggested for additional health benefits. In some countries, governments and health authorities have their own guidelines (1)

* Free sugars are all sugars added to foods or drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.

In China in 2016, the Chinese Nutrition Society developed a set of dietary guidelines (2) which provide information to help people achieve a balanced diet including advice around oil, salt, sugar and alcohol in the diet. In particular, the guidelines set out six recommendations to achieve a balanced diet which include the fact that daily intake added sugars for an adult should be less than 50 grams. Adults should also reduce consumption of sugary drinks.