The government has declared a "war on sugar" to reduce chronic illnesses like obesity and diabetes.


The Korea Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced a comprehensive five-year plan to reduce sugar consumption.


The target is to bring down consumption through processed food to 50 g a day or 200 kcal of the daily recommended calorie allowance of 2,000 kcal for adults.


According to the KFDA, average sugar consumption through processed food has risen from 33.1 g in 2007 to 44.7 g in 2013 and is expected to exceed 50 g in 2016.


Youngsters between 12 and 18 took in an alarming 59 g of sugar through processed food in 2013, and from the age of 19 to 29 58.7 g.


Sugar in processed food is absorbed more quickly and is more likely to cause various illnesses than unprocessed sugar.


The likelihood of obesity increases by 39 percent for those who eat 10 percent or more of their daily diet in the form of sugar from processed food over those who do not. They are also 66 percent and 41 percent more likely to suffer hypertension and diabetes than those with a lower intake.


The World Health Organization recommends sugar intake from processed food to take up less than 10 percent of the daily calorie allowance or 50g. Last year it suggested the amount be reduced to under five percent or 25 g. 

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