WHO Exhibits Leadership In Helping Nations Reduce Sugar Intake, Address NCDs

The Lancet: WHO’s war on sugar
Editorial Board

“On October 11, World Obesity Day, WHO upped the ante in its fight against sugar. First, it called for governments to introduce subsidies for fruits and vegetables and taxation of unhealthy foods, with a particular target on sugary drinks. … The second move saw the removal of sales and provision of sugary drinks from WHO headquarters, including at official functions. … They are bold steps forward to advance the global action plan on [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)] and WHO’s 2015 sugar guidelines that recommend drastically reducing sugar intake. A welcome benefit of this WHO leadership is increased publicity and awareness about the negative effects of excess sugar, and the extent to which sugar is present in foods marketed as healthy … A key challenge will be monitoring impact. While experience and evidence are growing for the effectiveness of sugar taxes, more evidence is needed on the use of subsidies and other economic tools to promote healthy behavior and to reduce disease outcomes. … The war on sugar is vital, but it is just one part of the larger battle against NCDs” (10/22).