WASHINGTON — Added sugar in drinks and foods makes up almost 16% of the calories U.S. children and teens consume, which exceeds the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommendation of 5% to 15% of calories from added sugars and solid fats, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, published on-line Feb. 29 in the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, also found more added sugars calories come from foods than from beverages.
“Previous research has demonstrated that sodas are the single leading food source of added sugars intakes among children, adolescents, and adults,” the researchers noted. “Our results showed a little more than 40% of calories from added sugars came from beverages.”
The study was based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2008, and included interviews conducted in participants’ homes, standardized physical examinations in mobile examination centers, and laboratory tests.
Other key findings from the study included the fact that boys between the ages of 2-19 consume about 362 calories a day from added sugar, which compared with about 282 calories a day for girls.
Sugar consumption also went up as children got older, the report showed.
Preschool-aged boys consumed 13.5% of their calories from added sugars, while boys ages 6 to 11 consumed 16.6% of their calories from added sugars, and those ages 12 to 19 consumed 17.5% of their calories from added sugars.
Meanwhile, girls in preschool consumed about 13% of their calories from added sugars, girls ages 6 to 11 consumed 15.7% of their calories from added sugars, and those ages 12 to 19 consumed 16.6% of their calories from added sugars.
The study also found that added sugars make up a larger portion of the diets of white children and teenagers compared with Mexican American children and adolescents, and more added sugars were eaten at home than outside the home.