Trends in added Sugars Intake and Sources Among U.S. Children, Adolescents and Teens using NHANES 2001-2018

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J Nutr. 2021 Nov 25:nxab395. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab395. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Over the past 2 decades there has been an increased emphasis on added sugars intake in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which has been accompanied by policies and interventions aimed at reducing intakes, particularly among children, adolescents and teens.

OBJECTIVE: The present study provides a comprehensive time trends analysis of added sugars intake and contributing sources in the diets of U.S. children, adolescents and teens (2-18 y) from 2001-2018, focusing on variations according to sociodemographic factors (age, sex, race and ethnicity, income), food assistance and health-related factors (physical activity, body weight status).

METHODS: Data from 9 consecutive 2-y cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were combined and regression analyses were conducted to test for trends in added sugars intake and sources from 2001-2018 for the overall age group (2-18 y) and for 2 age subgroups (2-8 and 9-18 y). Trends were also examined on subsamples stratified by sex, race and ethnicity (Hispanic, non-Hispanic Asian, non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic White), income (household poverty income ratio), food assistance, physical activity and body weight status.

RESULTS: From 2001-2018, added sugars intake decreased significantly (P < 0.01) from 15.6 to 12.6% kcal among children (2-8 y) and from 18.4 to 14.3% kcal among adolescents and teens (9-18 y), mainly due to significant declines in added sugars from sweetened beverages, which remained the top source. Declines in added sugars intake were observed for all strata, albeit to varying degrees.

CONCLUSIONS: Declines in added sugars intake were observed among children, adolescents and teens from 2001-2018, regardless of sociodemographic factors, food assistance, physical activity or body weight status, but variations in the magnitude of decline suggest persistent disparities related to race and ethnicity and income. Despite these declines, intakes remain above the DGA recommendation, and thus continued monitoring is warranted.

PMID:34850066 | DOI:10.1093/jn/nxab395