Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Too Much Added Sugar for Young Australians

By various experts

Preliminary research presented at the annual congress of the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society suggests that intake of “added” sugars is above recommended levels for more than half of young Australians.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

“There is a renewed interest in the role of foods high in added sugar on human health, especially in relation to weight gain and obesity. Research in this area is hindered in Australia because our food composition datasets currently do not distinguish between total (both naturally occurring and added during processing) and added sugars.

“Some researchers argue that there is no real nutritional difference between ‘naturally occurring’ and ‘added’ sugars. However, as Australians consume only a very small proportion of their total sugar intake as table sugar it is important to be able to assess the impact that foods high in added sugars have on overall energy and nutrient intakes.

“This project was set up to help separate added from naturally-occurring sugars in food products consumed in Australia. By applying the preliminary assessments of added sugar composition of products to the secondary analysis of the 2007 Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey we were able to produce reasonable estimates of the added sugar intake of Australian children.

“The results indicate that current diets of Australian children remain high in added sugars. They increase with age, reaching average intakes of around 90 g (or 22 teaspoons) of added sugar in teenage boys. This equates to 13% of their sugar intake from added sugars – well above the WHO recommendation...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Preliminary research presented at the annual congress of the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society suggests that intake of “added” sugars is above recommended levels for more than half of young Australians.