Too much sugar but not just from soda

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If you went by the headlines, you d be sure that the widespread obesity problem is due to consumption of too much sugar especially from sodas and other sweetened beverages. But according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you d be wrong.

Examination of data on adults (20-60+ years) intake of foods and beverages between 2005 and 2010 revealed some interesting statistics. During that period, about 13 percent of adults total caloric consumption came from added sugars, and of the sugar calories only about one third came from beverages. The majority of those sugar calories were surprisingly from foods.

The data were also analyzed to determine how demographic parameters affected the results. Analysis showed that as people age, they tend to consume fewer calories from sugar: Both genders highest sugar consumption was during the 20-39 years age group, and declined progressively to the 60+ years group. In absolute terms, men consumed more calories from added sugars than did women 335 calories vs 230.

Further, people with incomes less than 130 percent of the poverty level tended to have the highest percentage of calories from added sugars, and this percentage decreased significantly as the income level of surveyed participants rose.

Another interesting statistic was the venue at which adults tended to consume the most added sugars. Approximately two thirds of the added sugars people ate from foods were consumed at home, as were 58 percent of those from beverages.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that no more than 5 to 15 percent of calories come from solid fats and added sugars. Thus, for most groups the intake of added sugars was on the high side of this guideline.

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava comments, Obviously the younger age groups have a greater tendency to over-consume added sugars. This could be a concern if the foods supplying those sugars are nutrient-poor. Data such as this can help target the groups that could benefit from additional education about diet.