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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Association of usual intake of added sugars with nutrient adequacy

Author
item Nicklas, Theresa - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item O'neil, Carol - Louisiana State University Agcenter
item Fulgoni Iii, Victor - Nutrition Impact, Llc

Submitted to: International Journal of Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2018
Publication Date: 1/17/2018
Citation: Nicklas, T.A., O'Neil, C.E., Fulgoni III, V.L. 2018. Association of usual intake of added sugars with nutrient adequacy. International Journal of Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics. 4:126. https://doi.org/10.15344/2456-8171/2018/126.

Interpretive Summary: The recommendations for intake of sugars focus on limiting and reducing total sugar consumption especially that of added sugars. The goal of this study was to examine the association of usual intake of added sugars and nutrient adequacy in children and adults who participated in the NHANES 2009-2012 was used. The nutrients studied were those with an Estimated Average Requirement (10 vitamins and 7 minerals). For most nutrients added sugar intake was not related to nutrient adequacy; however, lower micronutrient intakes appeared to be most apparent when added sugars was between 20%-<25% of total energy. The nutrients affected were calcium and vitamin E for children, and vitamin D for adults. Poor food choices not related or partially related to added sugars intake may have a larger effect on nutrient adequacy than added sugars specifically. As this is a recent finding more research is needed to continue to assess scientifically at what level of intake of added sugars is significantly associated with micronutrient intake across multiple age groups.

Technical Abstract: Recommendations for intakes of added sugars have varied considerably and the scientific basis supporting these recommendations has been inconsistent. The goal of this study was to examine the association of usual intake (UI) of added sugars and nutrient adequacy in those participating in NHANES 2009-2012. NHANES is a cross-sectional study that is nationally representative of the US population. Using UI, subjects 2-18 and 19+ years were separated into six groups: 0<5, 5-<10, 10-<15, 15-<20, 20-<25, and > or =25% of energy as added sugars. Regression coefficients were generated to examine the magnitude of the association between the percentages of the population below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) and added sugars intake. For most nutrients with an EAR (15/17 in children and 16/17 in adults) added sugars intake was not related (p>0.0029) to nutrient adequacy. The nutrients affected were calcium [beta=10.48; p=0.003] and vitamin E [beta=5.72; p=0.003] for children and vitamin D [beta=1.42; p=0.001] for adults. The percentage of the population with inadequate intakes was high even in the lower added sugars groups. Using a less conservative p value (p< or =0.01), the percentage with inadequate intakes was noteworthy for vitamin E [beta=3.95; p=0.008] for adults. Using a p value of p< or =0.05 for significance, only magnesium was significant for children and adults and vitamin D for children. Regression analyses using only four groups (0<5, 5-<10, 10-<15, 15-<20) did not show any association with the nutrients studied, with the exception of vitamins D and E in adults (p< or =0.05). The point of inflection where micronutrient dilution was most apparent for these nutrients was between 20-<25% of energy from added sugars. Poor food choices independent or only partially related to added sugars intake may have a larger effect on nutrient adequacy than added sugars specifically.