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Nutrients. 2018 Jan 17;10(1). pii: E102. doi: 10.3390/nu10010102.

Sources of Added Sugars in Young Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Low and High Intakes of Added Sugars.

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Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, Stone Hall, Room 143A, 700 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA.
Nutrition Impact LLC, 9725 D Drive North, Battle Creek, MI 49014, USA.
Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, Room 143, 700 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA.
The Sugar Association, Inc., 1300 L Street, NW, Suite 1001, Washington, DC 20005, USA.


High intake of added sugars is associated with excess energy intake and poorer diet quality. The objective of this cross-sectional study (n = 16,806) was to estimate usual intakes and the primary food sources of added sugars across the range of intakes (i.e., deciles) among U.S. children (2-8 years), adolescents and teens (9-18 years), and adults (≥19 years) using the National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) data from 2009-2012. The percent energy contributed by added sugars was 14.3 ± 0.2% (2-8 years), 16.2 ± 0.2% (9-18 years), and 13.1 ± 0.2% (≥19 years), suggesting the highest intakes are among adolescents and teens. However, the primary foods/beverages that contribute to added sugars were remarkably consistent across the range of intakes, with the exception of the lowest decile, and include sweetened beverages and sweet bakery products. Interestingly across all age groups, even those in the lowest decile of added sugars exceed the 10% guidelines. Additional foods contributing to high intakes were candy and other desserts (e.g., ice cream) in children and adolescents, and coffee and teas in adults. Tailoring public health messaging to reduce intakes of these identified food groups may be of utility in designing effective strategies to reduce added sugar intake in the U.S.


Dietary Guidelines; NHANES; added sugars; obesity; sweetened beverages

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Victor Fulgoni III, as Senior Vice President of Nutrition Impact LLC, performs consulting and database analyses for various food and beverage companies and related entities. Regan Bailey is a consultant to Nutrition Impact, LLC. Alexandra Cowan has no conflicts of interest to disclose. Courtney Gaine is President and CEO of the Sugar Association. The Sugar Association had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results.

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