Teen Boys Drink a Whole Lot of SugarPosted on September 1st, 2011 No comments
By John Gever
Average daily sugar consumption among male teenagers in the form of sodas, energy drinks, and sweetened fruit juices was more than double the government’s recommended limit for all added sugar in the diet, a large national survey found.
Among boys and young men 12 to 19 years old participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2008, so-called sugar drinks accounted for a mean of 273 calories in their daily diet, according to data compiled Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD, and colleagues at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily limit for added sugars in all forms — including candies, baked goods, ice cream, and other foods in addition to drinks — is 128 calories. The “DASH” diet for reducing blood pressure has an even lower limit of about 50 calories in sugar daily.
Findings from the NHANES analysis appeared in NCHS Data Brief No. 71, released this week.
Men in their 20s and 30s were not far behind their teen counterparts, with an average daily intake of 252 calories from sugar drinks in the NHANES data.
Sugar drinks were defined in the analysis as sugar drinks as sweetened fruit drinks, sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened bottled waters. They do not include diet beverages, 100% fruit juice, sweetened teas, or flavored milks.
Daily intakes were measured in NHANES from one in-person, 24-hour dietary recall interview.
In all age groups except for two- to five-year-olds, males out-consumed females when it came to sweetened beverages, and mean intakes tailed off with age.
Teen girls took in an average of 171 calories daily from sugar drinks, and women 20 to 39 years old drank a mean 138 calories.
People 60 and older appear to have lost their sweet tooth, at least when it comes to drinks, consuming daily averages of 70 and 42 calories of added beverage sugars for men and women, respectively.
Among children two to five, the daily average was 71 and 70 calories for boys and girls, rising to 141 and 112 in six- to 11-year-olds.
Notably, about half of NHANES participants reported they did not have a sugar drink on the day covered in the interview — including 30% of male children and teens.
But the top 5% of sugar-drink consumers took in at least 567 calories from the products. That’s equivalent to more than four 12-ounce cans of cola, Ogden and colleagues noted.