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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Jun;69(4):503-512. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2017.1386628. Epub 2017 Oct 18.

Total dietary sugar consumption does not influence sleep or behaviour in Australian children.

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a Centre for Sleep Research, School of Psychology, University of South Australia , Adelaide , Australia.
b Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia , Adelaide , Australia.


This study aimed to compare sugar intake in Australian children with current guidelines and determine if total sugar consumption as a percentage of energy (sugar %E) exacerbates the relationship between sleep and behaviour. A sample of 287 children aged 8-12 years (boys 48.8%, age: 10.7 ± 1.3 years), and their parents/guardians completed a battery of questionnaires. Children completed a food frequency questionnaire, and parents completed demographic, sleep, and behaviour questionnaires. Average sugar intake was 134.9 ± 71.7 g per day (sugar %E 26.0 ± 7.0%), and only 55 (19%) participants did not exceed the recommended sugar intake limit. Correlations and logistical regressions indicated that sugar %E was not associated with sleep or behavioural domains (r range = -0.07-0.08; p range = .173-.979) nor contributed to the prediction of sleep behaviour problems (p range = .16-.80). Whilst a high proportion of children consumed above the recommended amount of daily total sugar, total sugar consumption was not related to behavioural or sleep problems, nor affected the relationship between these variables.


Total dietary sugar; externalising behaviour; internalising behaviour; sleep quality; total behavioural problems

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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