Hidden sugar levels in everyday food and drinks could be having a devastating on our long term health, according to the latest guidance from the World Health Organisation.
Health boffins recommend no more than six teaspoons should be consumed daily by adults to avoid obesity, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
But many common food stuffs, such as a can of Coke or Pepsi has nine teaspoons and a Starbucks caramel frappuccino is loaded with as much as 11 teaspoons of sugar.
Doctors claim sugar can be as detrimental to health as tobacco, with a huge knock-on effect to the NHS as patients suffer related ailments.
Francesco Branca, director for nutrition for health and development at WHO, said: “Obesity affects half a billion people in the world and it is on the rise.
“Sugar along with other risk factors might certainly become the new tobacco in terms of public health action. The consumption of a single serving of sugar sweetened soda might actually already exceed the limit for a child.
“So certainly the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages should be done with great care.
“It actually is one of the elements that has been more constantly associated to increase weight gain particularly in children.”
Experts have said it is becoming increasingly difficult for families to monitor how much sugar is in food due to unclear labelling.
Pressure group Action on Sugar has produced its own table of foods to make it clearer for consumers.
For example a 51g Mars Bar has eight teaspoons, a can of Red Bull has seven, a Muller strawberry shortcake Crunch Corner has six teaspoons and so does an Innocent smoothie.