Faced with mounting evidence about sugar’s harms, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee this month recommended that people in the U.S. limit added sugars to a maximum of 10% of their total daily calories. The recommendation — from the group responsible for MyPlate — will be part of a scientific report submitted in early 2015 to the secretaries of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture, who will use it to update the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
On average, Americans get about 16% of their daily calories from added sugars, according to the FDA. Earlier this year, the agency proposed changing the Nutrition Facts Label to tease out added sugars from the total sugar content in foods and drinks. On a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, 10% of calories from added sugar represents an amount equal to a dozen teaspoons right out of the sugar bowl — not that people are dumping that much sugar on top of their breakfast cereal or into their lattes.