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Adults should eat less free sugars and increase their daily fibre intake from around 18 grams to 30 grams, a new report says.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) said people should consume a balanced diet which includes carbohydrate-rich foods that are low in free sugars and high in fibre.
Experts say this will "improve bowel health" and can "help prevent heart disease".
"There is strong evidence in the report to show that if people were to have less free sugars and more fibre in their diet they would lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer," Dr Ann Prentice, chair of the SACN, said.
People need to halve their intake of added to sugar to food and drinks in order to tackle the obesity crisis, according to a draft report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).
Under new guidelines to be considered by the Department of Health, one can of fizzy drink will take a typical adult up to the proposed 5% daily allowance, without factoring in sugar from any other source.
Experts say the consumption of free sugars should be lowered from the current recommendation of 10% of dietary energy intake to 5%.
This is the equivalent of 25 grams of sugar (five or six teaspoons) for women and 35 grams (seven to eight teaspoonfuls) for men.
Eating too much sugar is "harming our health" and leading to a "higher risk" of becoming overweight or developing diseases, says the Public Health England chief nutritionist.
"Instead of a fizzy drink have water or low fat milk, instead of a chocolate bar, have a piece of fruit," she added
UK scientists have recommended a daily sugar target for men and women, ITV News Health Editor Catherine Jones reports:
Sainsbury's is to "shed 633 tonnes of sugar" in soft drinks by September and Asda plans to "delist all added sugar" in standard squashes later this year.
LIDL have removed sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks from its checkouts, ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports.
Supermarkets have pledged to limit the amount of sugar being sold in products, ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports.
Children's diets are so packed with sugar they are "getting a third of their energy calories from soft drinks," a health expert told Good Morning Britain.
Katharine Jenner from Action On Sugar said steps needed to be taken to reduce sugar intake as "we are all eating much more than recommended - children in particular".
"They are getting about a third of their energy calories from soft drinks. It is completely unnecessary. I think we have got it into our minds that energy and sports drinks mean energy, where as they don't."
Water should replace fruit juice on the breakfast table in order to combat obesity, an expert has said.
Professor Tom Sanders, from King's College London, called for sugary drinks to be taken out of children's diets and said "kids should be getting their fluid from drinking water".
"We need to reintroduce the habit of people putting a jug of water on the table and drinking water with their food instead of some sort of fruity beverage," he said at a briefing to journalists.
He was backed by fellow nutritionist Professor Susan Jebb, from Oxford University, who said: "I'd prefer to get sugar out of drinks altogether; a shift to low or no calorie drinks, and preferably water."
An ITV News Index Poll by ComRes has found that there is widespread support for there being a legal maximum amount of sugar allowed in food and drinks.
- Women are especially supportive of the legal limits of sugar imposed in food products, with 76% saying they would support such a move
- 66% of men say they would like to see such a legal move
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It's already clear most of us eat too much, so the focus really needs to be how, as a country, we go about changing our sugar-eating habits.
Sugar can be labelled in multiple ways, making it harder to spot.