Children lead way in lower sweetener consumption

by Ron Sterk
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U.S. per-capita consumption of caloric sweeteners by age - chart
U.S. per-capita consumption of caloric sweeteners by age

WASHINGTON — Based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, American children reduced their intake of caloric sweeteners more than adults during the period from 1994 to 2008.

“A recent linking of E.R.S.’s loss-adjusted food availability data with intake surveys from 1994-08 reveals that American children are doing a better job of cutting down on sugar beverages and other sweetened foods than adults are,” the U.S.D.A. said in its Amber Waves publication.

The data showed that children ages 2 to 19 consumed 94 lbs per person per year of caloric sweeteners compared with 81.4 lbs by adults during the 1994-98 period. But over the next decade (1999-08), per capita consumption of caloric sweeteners by children fell to 77.4 lbs per year while consumption by adults rose initially then returned to 1994-98 levels.

Food and beverages containing caloric sweeteners
Caloric sweeteners are common in sweetened beverages, baked foods, ketchups and other processed foods.

“Over 1994-08, consumption of sweeteners declined across all income and race/ethnicity groups, with Hispanics and other races/ethnicities consuming less caloric sweeteners than non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks,” the U.S.D.A. said.

Caloric sweeteners include cane and beet sugar, corn sweeteners, honey and other edible syrups — common ingredients in sweetened beverages, baked foods, spaghetti sauces, ketchups and other processed foods.
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