Dietary Intake of Individual (Free and Intrinsic) Sugars and Food Sources in the Spanish Population

The terminology used to describe sugars is very different in each country, which results in difficulties with respect to providing comparisons between population intakes and recommendations made by several bodies. As a consequence of these differences in definitions, the assessment of added sugar intake and compliance with recommendations seems to be extremely difficult.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced in March 2017 that it will provide scientific evidence on the daily recommended intake of added sugars in food by 2020, as well as their health effects. The World Health Organization (WHO) published in 2015 its updated guideline on free sugars intake for adults and children in relation to body weight and oral health. In this guideline on intake is recommended that, in both adults and children, the intake of added sugars should be reduced to less than 10 % of the total energy intake.

The aim of the present study focuses on the assessment of intrinsic and added sugars intake in the diet among a representative sample of the Spanish population, as well as analyzing food and beverage sources that contribute to sugar intake, according to sex and age groups. In this sense, the aim is to provide more detailed and accurate information on how the different food and beverage groups and subgroups represent the current market in Spain.

The median total sugar consumption in the Spanish population participating in the ANIBES Study was 71.5 g/day (mean: 76.3 g/day), contributing 17.0 % of the total energy intake. Concerning intrinsic sugars, the median consumption was 38.3 g/day (mean: 42.4 g/day), contributing 9.6 % to the total energy. For its part, the median added sugars intake was 28.8 g/day (mean: 33.9 g/day), contributing 7.3 % of the total energy.

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