Children and adolescents continue to consume too much sugar

Sugar consumption slowly, but remains far too high

A high sugar consumption is a point of view of health is extremely critical, as the risk of a whole range of increases in diseases. Especially in the case of growing sugar, however, is particularly popular and their consumption is, according to a recent study, is still far too high.

Researchers at the universities of Bonn and Paderborn have been investigated on the basis of data from the DONALD study (Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed Study), the sugar consumption of children and young people, and a very encouraging decline since the year 2005. However, the sugar-recordings of adolescents remains at a high level. Measures to reduce sugar consumption are, therefore, urgently required. Their study results have been published by the researchers in the journal “European Journal of Nutrition”.

Children and young people in Germany consume, according to a recent study, is still far too much sugar. (Photo: chones/fotolia.com)

Children are especially susceptible to sugar

The research team suggests that children and young people are “particularly prone to a high sugar intake, because they have a genetically determined high preference for sweet foods.” With advancing age, this preference take then slowly. In their study, the researchers had analyzed the sugar consumption of 1.312 children and young people aged three to 18 years. The Basis of the data from the DONALD were the study, from 1985 to 2016, “from infancy to adulthood, in regular intervals, detailed data on diet, growth, development, metabolism and health status is collected”. There were also “Three-days-to-cradle protocols,” and the proportion of ingested free and total sugar was recorded.

What is free sugar and total sugar?

Free sugar is sugar, the food manufacturers, or in the preparation of the budget is added, or is naturally contained in fruit juices. As total sugar, however, the entire sugar content of a food, including, of course, contained sugar.

A slight decrease in sugar consumption

For the evaluation of the sugar trend analyses, a total of 10.761 Three-day weighing protocols on age and time were investigated for trends in sugar intake, report the researchers in a press release from the University of Bonn. It was shown that the intake of free sugars has decreased in the years from 2005 to 2016 easily. However, it was in these years in the middle value at about 16.3 percent of the daily energy intake is still above the recommendations of the world health organization (WHO; a maximum of 10 percent of daily energy intake).

Real sugar intake is probably much higher

“Even if the reduction of sugar intake is already a positive development, the supply is far in excess of the recommendations,” says Dr. Ute Alexy, of the University of Bonn, Director of the DONALD-study. Add to that probably more sugar is consumed than in the study, because the study participants came from families with a high socio-economic Status and sugar intake in poorer families are likely to be higher.

Changes in the sugar absorption in the course of life

Also interesting is the effect of age on the sugar consumption. In the study, the youngest subjects (age three to four years) showed the lowest sugar consumption, which is likely to owe much of regulation by their parents. Subsequently, the sugar intake is increasing dramatically. “We suspect a shift in the intake of sugar from natural sources such as fruit and fruit juices with age to increase sugar intake from sweets, drinks, and sweetened milk products,” explained the PhD student Ines Perrar of the University of Bonn. Later in life, the proportion of total sugar go back to the power supply then back on again.

Measures for the reduction of sugar consumption is required

The researchers suggest that it is not enough “for sure, more about the negative effects of a high sugar intake to educate”, but it is needed now, “a harmonized combination of nutrition policies to reduce the sugar additive in our food.” Because of the high sugar intake are at increased risk for various diseases such as dental caries, Overweight and obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. (fp)