CNS 2019: How Much Sugars Are We Eating? Trends Over Time and Globally


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Speakers: Amélie Bergeron, M.Sc. student/Dt.P.; Laura Chiavaroli, PhD; Janette Walton, PhD

This session will examine sugars consumption with a focus on both global and Canadian-specific trends over time. Presenters will include Dr. Janette Walton (Cork University, Ireland) and Dr. Laura Chiavaroli (University of Toronto). The goals of this session are to describe trends and recent research in the consumption of sugars from foods and beverages as well as to present ideas for future research related to sugar consumption and health.


Janette Walton: Dietary sugar consumption globally-current status and future perspectives

The role of dietary sugars consumption in health and disease is an on-going area of scientific and policy debate, however more recently some consensus has been reached regarding dietary guidance on sugar consumption, with health authorities and government agencies worldwide recommending a reduction in consumption of added/ free sugar. Added sugar refers to sugars added by the cook, manufacturer or consumer and free sugars refer to an expansion of this definition to include sugars naturally present in fruit juices, fruit juice concentrates, syrups and honey. The World Health Organisation recommend a population intake of free sugars less than 10% total energy intake (%TE) in both adults and children with a further conditional recommendation of an intake less than 5%TE. Furthermore the European Food Safety Authority have been mandated to revisit their (2010) findings of insufficient evidence for an upper level of sugar (as a nutrient). Whilst dietary guidance has become more consistent, challenges in estimating added (and free sugars) intake still remain. A significant challenge is that as there is no analytical difference between natural and added sugars, there is a reliance on the food industry to share recipes including amount of added sugars on product labels to allow calculation of individual/population's consumption of added (and free) sugars. Scientists are updating food composition databases of added/free sugars with the purpose of estimating these sugars in individual countries. This presentation aims to update on the consumption of dietary sugars globally with an emphasis on added/free sugars where data are available.


Laura Chiavaroli: Changes in added and free sugars intake over the past decade: How are Canadians doing?

Half a decade ago the World Health Organization released a report calling on all countries to reduce sugars intake in adults and children. Globally, consumption of sugars has been shown to be either stable or decreasing. In order to determine whether changes in Canadian sugars intake follows this same trend, recently released dietary intake data by Statistics Canada from the 2015 Canadian Community Healthy Survey (CCHS) can now be compared to the CCHS 2004. Findings related to changes in added and free sugars intake will be presented. Discussion will focus on changes in top food sources of sugars to highlight whether certain foods are driving change, with reflecting on the quality of these foods. These findings will assist in understanding current sugars consumption trends to inform evidence-based dietary and policy recommendations in Canada.


Amélie Bergeron: Intakes of total, free and naturally occurring sugars in the Québec population: Insights from the PREDISE study

Purpose: The objective of this study was to characterize, for the first time, the intakes of different types of sugars of an age and sex representative sample of French-speaking adults from 5 regions of the Province of Québec, Canada, enrolled in the cross-sectional PREDISE study (n=1147, 18-65 years old; 50% women).

Methods: Since only total sugar content of food is available in the Canadian Nutrient File (CNF) 2015, it is currently not possible to assess Canadians’ intake of free and naturally occurring sugars. The initial step of this study was to estimate free and naturally occurring sugars content of each food and recipe from the R24W database, an automated, self-administered, web-based 24-hour dietary recall that uses the CNF 2015. Total sugars were manually differentiated into free and naturally occurring sugars using an algorithm based on previous work recently published in the literature. Dietary intakes were assessed using three 24-hour dietary recalls from which the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) was calculated. A higher AHEI reflects better diet quality.

Results: Proportions of daily energy intake provided by total and natural sugars were slightly higher in women than in men (total sugars: 19.8% [95%CI, 19.3-20.3] vs. 18.8% [95%CI, 18.2-19.3]; natural sugars: 8.3% [95%CI, 7.9-8.6] vs. 6.7% [95%CI, 6.4-7.0], respectively, for women and men). No difference was observed between men and women in the percentage of energy provided by free sugars (11.5% [95%CI, 11.0-11.9] vs. 12.0% [95%CI, 11.5-12.5]). Intake of total sugars in percent of total energy correlated negatively but weakly with AHEI (r=-0.12, p<0.0001). On the other hand, intake of free sugars was strongly and negatively correlated with AHEI (r=-0.44, p<0.0001), while intake of naturally occurring sugars was positively associated with AHEI (r=0.45, p<0.0001).

Conclusion: Our results showed that in both men and women, the mean contribution of free sugars to total energy intake exceeded the maximum of 10% recommended by the World Health Organization. It was also found that the intake of free sugars was more strongly associated with overall diet quality than total sugars. Further analyses will be performed to associate sugar intakes and cardiometabolic risk factors.

[Funded by CIHR]."

** Original Source: "CNS 2019 Annual Conference" Saturday, May 4, 2019

Length: 1:10:27

Type: Video

Last Updated: June 18, 2019

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