ITALY, Parma. EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) has drafted a protocol to define the methods for: collecting data (i.e. which data to use for the assessment and how to identify and select them); appraising the relevant evidence; and analysing and integrating the evidence to draw conclusions that will form the basis of the scientific opinion. The aim of the assessment is to establish a cut-off value for intake of “free” sugars that is not associated with adverse health effects.
Free sugars comprise monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose) and disaccharides (sucrose, lactose, maltose, trehalose) added to foods by manufacturers or consumers plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices, and fruit juice concentrates. The health effects under consideration will include micronutrient intake and status, body weight and obesity, glucose homeostasis and type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors and diseases, liver function and dental caries. The advice – requested by the national food authorities of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – will help Member States to establish recommendations on the consumption of free sugars and to plan food-based dietary guidelines. In 2010, EFSA provided advice on dietary reference values (DRVs) for carbohydrates and dietary fibre, which included sugar. At the time, the available evidence was insufficient to set an upper limit for the daily intake of total or added sugars.