SSB Taxes - Government guidelines and policy recommendations extract

Guidelines: Sugar intake for adults and children

The objective of this guideline is to provide recommendations on the intake of free sugars to reduce the risk of NCDs in adults and children, with a particular focus on the prevention and control of unhealthy weight gain and dental caries.

The recommendations include:

  • WHO recommends a reduced intake of free sugars throughout the life course (strong recommendation).
  • In both adults and children, WHO recommends reducing the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake (strong recommendation).
  • WHO suggests a further reduction of the intake of free sugars to below 5% of total energy intake (conditional recommendation).

Specifically regarding sugar-sweetened beverages taxation, the recommendations made can be used by policy-makers and programme managers to:

Develop measures to reduce intake of free sugars, where necessary, through a range of public health interventions; measures and interventions that are already being implemented by countries include food and nutrition labelling, consumer education, regulation of marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages that are high in free  sugars, and fiscal policies targeting foods and beverages that are high  in  free sugars.