Section 80
Chapter 79,690

Estimated Reductions in Added Sugar Intake among US Children and Youth in Response to Sugar Reduction Targets

Vercammen, K.A.; Dowling, E.A.; Sharkey, A.L.; Johnson Curtis, C.; Wang, J.; Kenney, E.L.; Micha, R.; Mozaffarian, D.; Moran, A.J.

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 122(8): 1455-1464.E5


ISSN/ISBN: 2212-2672
PMID: 35182788
Accession: 079689627

In 2021, the National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative (NSSRI) released voluntary sugar reduction targets for packaged foods and drinks in the United States. The objectives of this study were to describe trends in added sugar intake from NSSRI foods and beverages among children and youth and estimate possible reductions if industry were to meet the targets. This study consisted of cross-sectional and trend analyses of demographic and 24-hour dietary recall data from eight survey cycles (2003-2004 to 2017-2018) of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The study sample included 23,248 children and youth (aged 2 to 19 years). The main outcome measure was the percent of daily calories from added sugar for foods and beverages in NSSRI categories. Foods and beverages reported by participants were mapped to one of the NSSRI's categories or coded as a non-NSSRI item. Trends over time in added sugar intake were assessed using regression models. To assess possible reductions in added sugar intake if industry were to meet the targets, sales-weighted mean percent reductions for 2023 and 2026 targets were applied to NSSRI items in the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Suvey data. Results were examined overall and by demographic characteristics. From 2003-2004 to 2017-2018, added sugar intake from NSSRI foods and beverages declined, but consumption remained high. During 2017-2018, NSSRI categories accounted for 70% of US child and youth added sugar intake. If industry met the NSSRI targets, US children and youth would consume 7% (2023 targets) to 21% (2026 targets) less added sugar. Although added sugar intake from NSSRI foods and drinks has declined over the past decade, added sugar intake from all sources remains high and consumption of added sugar from certain NSSRI categories has remained steady over time. If met, the NSSRI targets are expected to result in meaningful reductions in added sugar intake for US children and youth.

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