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Government urges Americans to limit sugar to 10% of daily calories

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Staff writer ▼ | January 8, 2016
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting the amount of added sugars in our diet to no more than 10% of daily calories. That's about 12 teaspoons of sugar a day.
New guidelines   The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines
A can of Coke contains nearly 10 teaspoons. Americans on average get about 13% of daily calories from added sugars; teens get closer to 17% of calories from added sugars, according to the new report.

The natural sugar in foods such as raisins, apples or milk are not considered added sugars.

Nearly half of the added sugars in American diets come from sweetened beverages, such as sodas and sports drinks, according to the guidelines, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Half of all U.S. adults – about 117 million people – have a preventable, diet-related chronic disease. Two-thirds of Americans are obese or overweight, thanks to a deadly combination of poor diet and lack of exercise, according to the report.

Obesity costs the U.S. at least $147 billion a year in medical costs, including the costs of treating weight-related disorders.