Mackay's Racecourse Mill.
Mackay's Racecourse Mill. Peter Holt

Sugar consumption recommendations could harm vital industry

MACKAY cane farmers hope the World Health Organisation (WHO) doesn't give more ammunition to sugar haters by changing their daily consumption recommendations.

In a controversial move that could affect the sugar industry in Mackay, the organisation is considering slashing the amount of sugar it recommends people should consume by half.

Mackay Canegrowers chief executive officer Kerry Latter said there was a vocal minority who sensationalised the dangers of consuming sugar, but in a balanced diet, he said, sugar could be good for you.

"I do think there will be major groups that will jump on the bandwagon to misuse their (the WHO's) comments to enhance their own demonising of sugar," he said.

There have been many books written about reasons to quit or not to quit sugar.

The Daily Mercury recently reported on nutritionist Cassie Platt, who wrote Don't Quit Sugar after the "honeymoon phase" of her own sugar-free diet ended.

But for the first time it seems the WHO could be throwing its weight behind the going sugar-free cause.

"We would have to be concerned about the impact," Mr Latter said.

Present guidelines recommended people should only get 10% of their daily calories from sugar. The new proposal would bring this down to 5%.

Mr Latter said sugar was a natural sweetener and a product in the food chain - unlike artificial sweeteners.

"I hope (WHO) will ask people to return to a balanced diet of eating in moderation," he said. "There's been this strong push (against sugar) without understanding the science of it."

Mr Latter said, like anything, if you ate too much of something it wasn't good for you.

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