When Extra Sugar Ain't Sweet

Added sugar in food upped the number of calories consumed by certain populations

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Over-consumption of food and calories has been problematic across the US. Certain populations in particular are eating extra calories from sugars hidden in food at home.

According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-Hispanic black men and women consumed more added sugars compared to those from other ethnic backgrounds.

The findings showed that most of the extra calories came from food rather than beverages and were consumed at home instead of while dining out.

"Watch the processed foods at home."

R. Bethene Ervin, PhD, RD, and Cynthia Ogden, PhD, MRP, from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the CDC, looked into how many extra calories from added sugars were consumed by Americans.

The researchers reviewed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which monitors the health and nutritional status of the American population.

The survey included interviews performed in participants' homes and physical examinations at mobile centers from 2005 to 2010.

About two-thirds of the added sugars came came from foods rather than beverages, according to the report. For kids and teens, 40 percent of the extra sugars came from beverages.

More than two-thirds of the extra food calories were consumed at home rather than dining out.

Non-Hispanic black men and women, compared to non-Hispanic white and Mexican American men and women, consumed a larger percentage of calories from added sugars.

Specifically, non-Hispanic black men and women consumed 14.5 percent and 15.2 percent of their calories from added sugars.

Non-Hispanic white men and women consumed 12.8 and 13.2 percent of added sugars, respectively. Mexican-American men and women consumed 12.9 percent and 12.6 percent of added sugars.

Comparing gender, more calories from added sugars were consumed each day by men than women, though the extra calories made up a higher percentage of the total intake by women.

Men consumed 335 additional calories on average, or 12.7 percent of their total calorie intake. Women on the other hand consumed 239 additional calories, or 13.2 percent of their total intake.

Additional sugar intake decreased as individuals aged. While men between 20 and 39 years of age consumed 397 extra sugar calories, men over the age of 60 consumed 224 extra calories on average.

In the same age groups, women consumed 275 and 182 extra sugar calories on average, respectively.

These findings were published in the May 2013 issue of the NCHS Data Brief.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 8, 2013
Last Updated:
October 17, 2013