Poster Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

Sugar intake in a cohort of Australian children (#P85)

Millie Watson 1 , Mark Kohler 1 , Siobhan Banks 1 , Alison Coates 2
  1. Centre for Sleep Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  2. Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA

Introduction: The 2003 Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia stated that in a healthy diet, total sugar consumption should not exceed 20% of daily energy intake.  This study examined total sugar consumption in a cohort of school children and compared the results to these guidelines.     

Method: Currently 81 children aged 9-12y (10.5±1.1y; 51%Male) have been recruited through South Australian schools and community.  Questionnaire data assessing demographics and energy and nutrient intake (Food Frequency Questionnaire) was obtained via child and parent report. 

Results: Daily energy consumption ranged between 3,012kJ – 19,402kJ.  Males (8596 ±2915kJ) and females (8768 ±3769kJ; p=0.818) did not differ in energy consumption.  There was a strong correlation between total energy consumption and sugar intake r=0.904, p<.001.  Sugar consumption ranged between 23.6g – 368.8g (140.2 ±78.0g) and sugar as a percentage of energy ranged between 8.2% – 44.6% (26.4 ±7.3%).  Age was not related to sugar consumption as a percentage of energy, p=0.25.  In this sample 21% were within the healthy sugar consumption guidelines while 79% exceeded.  Amongst those who exceeded the sugar consumption guidelines there were no mean differences between genders in terms of sugar as a percentage of energy (p=0.36). 

Conclusion: The results indicate a large amount of sugar consumption among children aged 8-12y, with majority of the children consuming more than recommended.  The food sources contributing to the high sugar intake should be further explored.

 Funding source: N/A