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Public Health Nutr. 2008 Aug;11(8):860-6. Epub 2007 Sep 21.

Exploring the relationship between sugars and obesity.

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Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.



Investigate the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and intake of sugars and fat in New Zealand adults and children.


Secondary analyses of National Nutrition Survey (1997) and Children's Nutrition Survey (2002) data for the New Zealand population. BMI calculated from height and weight; fat, sugars and sucrose (used as a surrogate for added sugars) intakes estimated from 24-hour diet recall. Ethnic-specific analyses of children's data. Relationships (using linear regression) between BMI and sugars/sucrose intakes; per cent total energy from fat; mean total energy intake from sucrose. Subjects classified into diet-type groups by levels of intake of fat and sucrose; relative proportions of overweight/obese children in each group compared with that of normal weight subjects using design-adjusted chi2 tests.


New Zealand homes and schools.


4379 adults (15+ years); 3049 children (5-14 years).


Sugars (but not sucrose) intake was significantly lower among obese compared to normal weight children. In adults and children, those with the lowest intake of sugars from foods were significantly more likely to be overweight/obese. Sucrose came predominantly from beverages; in children, 45% of this was from powdered drinks. Sucrose intake from sugary beverages was not related to BMI. Per cent total energy (%E) from sucrose was significantly inversely related to %E from fat among adults and children. Proportions of overweight/obese adults or children in each diet-type group did not differ from that of normal weight individuals.


Current sugars or sucrose intake is not associated with body weight status in the New Zealand population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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