2

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Is consumption of added sugars really decreasing in the United States?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 15, 2011 at 8:44 PM

I saw this slightly surprising study published online this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Consumption of added sugars is decreasing in the United States

(I edited down the numbers just to make them more readable, only the abstract is available online).

Background: The consumption of added sugars (caloric sweeteners) has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Little is known about recent consumption trends in the United States or how intakes compare with current guidelines.

Objective: We examined trends in intakes of added sugars in the United States over the past decade.

Results: Between 1999???2000 and 2007???2008, the absolute intake of added sugars decreased from a mean of 100.1 g/d to 76.7 ; two-thirds of this decrease, from 37.4 g/d to 22.8 g/d, resulted from decreased soda consumption.

The percentage of total energy from added sugars also decreased from 18.1% to 14.6%

Conclusion: Although the consumption of added sugars in the United States decreased between 1999???2000 and 2007???2008, primarily because of a reduction in soda consumption, mean intakes continue to exceed recommended limits.

I was surprised by the fact that average added sugar consumption had reached 100 grams per day. To make that the mean there must be people exceeding that amount.

What do people make of this apparent trend?

I wonder what these people are drinking instead of soda?

76d0056c773673e24b8c57a685d504ed

(132)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Diet soda. This study makes no comment on the amount of artificial sweeteners consumed, which I imagine would be on the up-swing if sugar consumption is going down.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 16, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Great point. My mother is like that: shuns soda and overt sugar crap like that but eats fruity yogurt, etc thinking it's fine.

76d0056c773673e24b8c57a685d504ed

(132)

on July 16, 2011
at 01:33 AM

When I see carts of that stuff, I literally feel sad. I shop in the periphery of the store and the only center aisle I regularly visit would be to get canned tomatoes. But breezing past all those aisles I look down each one and see carts full of frozen pizzas, chips, soda, etc. I don't feel disgusted by the choices of these people, I feel saddened.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:02 PM

Be interesting to know if fruit juice sales have increased to compensate, I don't think that would be much of an improvement...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:01 PM

That is true :) If the trend it real though it would be the first time that intake of added sugar has fallen after many decades of increasing intakes.

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4 Answers

2
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:26 PM

I'd like to see graphs comparing this with sources of non-added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Consumption of "healthy" smoothies and juices naturally high in sugar really took off in this period. At the same time, low-carbing become more mainstream, hence artificial sweeteners replacing caloric sweeteners (sodas are probably the most commonly consumed artifically sweetened product).

To a certain extent I feel that this data reflects the shallowness of the average person's nutritional awareness. People seem to be finally realising that soda is a massive and unnecessary sugar-bomb, but at the same time many are failing to realise that sweeteners sneak into many everyday apparently healthy foods, like yoghurt, spaghetti sauce and granola.

I'd also like to see the median and mode for sugar consumption, as I suspect that the average is being grossly skewed by a relatively small proportion of very heavy consumers. In my opinion the widening gulf between the health aware and the sugar-guzzlers is a trend that is likely only going to widen in the future, most likely along socio-economic lines.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 16, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Great point. My mother is like that: shuns soda and overt sugar crap like that but eats fruity yogurt, etc thinking it's fine.

1
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on July 15, 2011
at 08:56 PM

They dont offer up a ton of background data to go look into, but on the suface I could see it being valid. The issue of course, is that it was, and still is, incredibly high. So people are drinking Gatorade instead Mountain Dew, and Gatorade has less sugar, great. They are still drinking 2 gallons of Gatorade a day while sitting at a desk. So sure, its a step in the right direction, but I dont think we should break our arms patting ourselves on the back just yet.

When was the last time you went to Walmart and saw a cart full of processed chips, snacks, and other various frankenfoods, topped off with a couple cases of Diet Coke? Theres your less sugar.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:02 PM

Be interesting to know if fruit juice sales have increased to compensate, I don't think that would be much of an improvement...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:01 PM

That is true :) If the trend it real though it would be the first time that intake of added sugar has fallen after many decades of increasing intakes.

76d0056c773673e24b8c57a685d504ed

(132)

on July 16, 2011
at 01:33 AM

When I see carts of that stuff, I literally feel sad. I shop in the periphery of the store and the only center aisle I regularly visit would be to get canned tomatoes. But breezing past all those aisles I look down each one and see carts full of frozen pizzas, chips, soda, etc. I don't feel disgusted by the choices of these people, I feel saddened.

0
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on July 16, 2011
at 02:23 AM

In addition to diet soda like others mentioned, for the big health push, many have switched to fruit juices for their kids. Probably less "added" sugar, but still at least the same amount of sugar.

0
1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:31 PM

The problem with Diet sodas is at least as big as that with sugar sweetened ones. Look into the problems with Aspartame.

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