[00:00.00]The World Health Organization says people around the world are eating more sugar.
[00:06.13]As a result, it says, health problems related to weight gain and tooth damage are increasing.
[00:13.45]Sugary foods and drinks cause tooth decay, weakening the bone.
[00:18.89]The WHO finds that, on average, the amount of sugar in the foods we eat has risen about 10 percent over the past 10 years.
[00:29.30]But it has risen at a faster rate in some areas.
[00:33.27]In the Middle East and North Africa, sugar intake has risen about 15 percent over the past 10 years.
[00:41.72]In some Asian and Pacific countries, sugar intake is 20 percent higher.
[00:47.91]And in South America, people eat more sugar than anywhere else in the world.
[00:53.66]Francesco Branca is director of the WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health.
[01:00.22]"In South America, we have approximately 130 grams per person, per day, so much more than twice the WHO recommendation,
[01:11.77]but we also have some parts of the world where the intake is still low.
[01:16.89] It is within the WHO recommendations, such as what is happening in Equatorial and Southern Africa, where it is about 30 grams per person, per day."
[01:27.89]Mr. Branca says reducing how much sugar you eat can be difficult because so many cooks and food-makers add sugar.
[01:36.95]He says researchers found that 80 percent of the food items in U.S. markets included some kind of sugar.
[01:45.13]"Just to give you an example, an average size bowl of breakfast cereal contains four teaspoons of free sugars.
[01:58.60]If you go for a U.S.-size can of soda that contains 10 teaspoons of free sugars."
[02:09.00]The WHO is calling on governments to take measures to reduce how much sugar people eat.
[02:16.11]It proposes taxing products with a lot of sugar and requiring food-makers to list how much sugar can be found in their products.
[02:25.76]Another proposal is to restrict marketing of sugary foods and drinks to children.
[02:32.56]However, the United Nations agency says it is fine to eat foods that naturally have sugar, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and even milk.
[02:44.26]I'm Jim Tedder.
[02:46.22]Words in This Story
[02:48.31]breakfast cereals - n. foods made from grain that people often eat as the first meal of the day. Cereal is usually eaten in a bowl with milk.
[03:01.07]sugary - adj. tasting like sugar or containing a lot of sugar
[03:07.47]intake - n. a food, drink or other substance taken in; the act of taking in (eating, drinking or swallowing)