The Health Ministry declared this month as the national Nutrition Month under the theme `Taste without sugar’, Health Education Bureau sources said.
According to the sources, the World Health Organization guidelines said that the energy obtained from sugar, per person, per day should not exceed more than five percent of the total energy intake, which amounts to 25 grams of sugar (six teaspoons of sugar) for better health status.
During the National Nutrition Month, it is expected to reduce consumption of sweetened beverages among all age groups, to create awareness among the general public regarding addiction to sugar sweetened beverages and the resulting detrimental health effects, to promote consumption of clean drinking water and other naturally available healthy drinks, to promote a conducive environment for consumption of safe drinking water and other natural drinks by strengthening multi-sectoral coordination and participation through advocacy, the sources said.
High sugar consumption is a major cause of weight gain leading to overweight and obesity the Health Education Bureau sources said.
Costly economic and social consequences of overweight and obesity are made manifest in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, disability, chronic kidney disease, musculoskeletal conditions and psychological problems, among others. In addition, excess weight can lead to reduction in productivity, poor quality of life and shortened life span, the sources added.