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