Added and free sugar intakes and the main food sources of these sugars in New Zealand adolescent females
Background: Added sugars are associated with dental caries, obesity, hypertension and other non-communicable diseases (NCD) (1). The most recent estimation of sugar intakes in New Zealand is the 2008/09 Adult Nutrition Survey (ANS), but in this survey total sugar intakes were reported whereas added sugars were not separately estimated. Additionally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations are based on free sugars, a term that relates to added sugars plus sugars from honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates (2-4). Objective: To determine the current added and free sugar intakes and the main food sources of these sugars in 15-18 year old New Zealand females (n=145). Design: Nation-wide cross-sectional, observational study using clustered data, in which 145 participants were enrolled. The first twenty-four hour (24h) dietary recall was completed by 132 participants and 113 participants completed the second 24h dietary recall. Methods: The Survey of nutrition, dietary assessment and lifestyle (SuNDiAL) has been designed to compare the nutritional status, dietary habits, health status, and attitudes and motivations for food choices of adolescent women. English speaking, 15-18 year old non-pregnant females were recruited from eight different secondary schools in seven different locations. Two second year Masters of Dietetics (MDIET) students were based at each school and responsible for recruitment and collecting data. Each participant completed an online enrolment questionnaire and a 60 minute meeting with either MDIET student. In this meeting the first twenty-four hour recall was completed and anthropometric measurements (height, weight, ulna length) taken. The second 24h recall was completed via telephone or video-call at least one week later and on a different day of the week. Data from the two twenty-four hour recalls were entered into FoodWorks Software (5) and analysed for total sugar intake. Added and free sugar intakes were estimated following a systematic method established by Louie et al (6). Food groups were individually coded using the individual entries of foods and beverages from FoodWorks (5). Results: Mean (95% confidence interval) added and free sugar intakes were 100g (82, 118) and 106g (87, 125), respectively. Added and free sugars represent 11.5% (9.9, 13,1) and 12.2% (10.5, 12.9) of total energy, respectively. Of total sugar consumption in this convenience sample, 52% was from added sugar and 48% from intrinsic sugar. The energy densities of foods containing added sugars were 12.5kJ/g (11.9, 13.2) compared to 6.9kJ/g (6.5, 7.2) of foods containing intrinsic sugars. The three food groups contributing the highest percent of added sugars were sugar/sweets (15%), non-alcoholic beverages (13%) and savoury sauces and condiments (12%). Conclusion: Added sugar intakes in this sample are comparable to those estimated from other national and convenience samples from around the world. A mean intake of 106g/d representing 12.2% of energy from free sugars exceeds the WHO recommendation of not more than 10% energy (1). Sugar/sweets were the highest food group contributing to added and free sugar intake, followed by non-alcoholic beverages. The identification of savoury sauces and condiments contributing the third highest amount of added sugars was unexpected. This is not a food group that has previously presented as one of the highest contributors of added sugars to this demographic.
Advisor: Venn, Bernard
Degree Name: Master of Dietetics
Degree Discipline: Human Nutrition
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: added sugar; free sugar; sugar; sugar intake; adolescent; female; New Zealand; SuNDiAL
Research Type: Thesis