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NCHS Data Brief. 2012 Mar;(87):1-8.

Consumption of added sugar among U.S. children and adolescents, 2005-2008.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics 3311 Toledo Road, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, USA.


Approximately 16% of children and adolescents’ total caloric intakes came from added sugars. Boys consumed more added sugars than girls. Preschool-aged children consumed the fewest calories from added sugars. Although girls consumed a smaller absolute amount of calories from added sugars than boys, their intakes were not that different from boys when the amounts are expressed as a percentage of total caloric intakes. Non-Hispanic white children and adolescents consumed a larger percentage of their calories from added sugars than Mexican-American children and adolescents. Also, Non-Hispanic black girls consumed a larger percentage of their calories from added sugars than Mexican-American girls. There was very little difference in added sugar consumption based on PIR. More of the added sugars calories came from foods as opposed to beverages. Previous research has demonstrated that sodas are the single leading food source of added sugars intakes among children, adolescents, and adults (2,4). Our results showed a little more than 40% of calories from added sugars came from beverages. Poti and Popkin (5) have suggested that eating location impacts daily energy intake in children and adolescents and that foods prepared away from home, are contributing to their increased total energy intake. Our results showed that more of the added sugars calories were consumed at home rather than away from home. A substantial percentage of calories in the diets of children and adolescents between 2005 and 2008 came from added sugars. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines "reducing the consumption of these sources of added sugars will lower the caloric content of the diet, without compromising its nutrient adequacy (3)." This strategy could play an important role in reducing the high prevalence of obesity in the United States (6) without compromising adequate nutrition.

All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

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