St. Louis, MO, August 1, 2009 The intake of added sugars in the United States is excessive, estimated by the US Department of Agriculture in 1999-2002 as 17% of calories a day. Consuming foods with added sugars displaces nutrient-dense foods in the diet. Reducing or limiting intake of added sugars is an important objective in providing overall dietary guidance. In a study of nearly 30,000 Americans published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers report that race/ethnicity, family income and educational status are independently associated with intake of added sugars. Groups with low income and education are particularly vulnerable to eating diets with high added sugars.
There are differences within race/ethnicity groups that suggest that interventions aimed at reducing the intake of added sugars should be tailored to each group. Using data from adults (≥18 years) participating in the 2005 US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Cancer Control Supplement, investigators from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Bethesda, MD, and Information Management Services, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, analyzed responses to questions about added sugars. Both NCI and NHLBI are part of the National Institutes of Health.
In men and women, intakes of added sugars were inversely related to both education and family income. There were significant differences across race/ethnicity groups with Asian-Americans having the lowest intake of added sugars and Hispanics with the next lowest intake according to racial/ethnic categories. Black men had the highest intake among men, although white and American Indian/Alaskan Native men were also high. Black women and American Indian/Alaskan Native women had the highest intake among women.
Writing in the article, Frances E. Thompson, MPH, PhD, and colleagues state, "A major strength of the 2005 NHIS i
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Elsevier Health Sciences