Nordic 5 ask EFSA to help set intake limits for added sugar

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nordic authorities ask EFSA to rethink non-conclusion on added sugars in light of new evidence. © iStock.com
Nordic authorities ask EFSA to rethink non-conclusion on added sugars in light of new evidence. © iStock.com

Related tags: Obesity, Nutrition

Five Nordic countries have asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) whether new evidence means limits for added sugar intakes could now be set.

Talking at an open plenary meeting of the Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) in Brussels today (30 June), Valeriu Curtui, head of EFSA’s unit on nutrition, said the mandate received last week was “very fresh”​ and had not yet been discussed internally.

In their letter addressed to EFSA executive director Bernhard Url, the countries asked if new evidence could merit an update of the NDA panel’s 2010 conclusions that it was not possible to set an upper limit for added sugar due to insufficient data. 

The authorities from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden cited the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation​ that no more that 5-10% of daily energy intake be made up by added sugars.

The WHO lowered this level from 10% last year as global obesity rates reached a new catastrophic high. 

The WHO said at the time it had "solid evidence" ​that keeping levels below 10% of total energy intake reduced the risk of being overweight, obese and of tooth decay. 

The organisation said keeping this level below 5% would have additional health benefits. 

Curtui said the mandate would be discussed in more detail in the NDA panel’s next meeting in September. 

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