Associations between free sugar intake and markers of health in the UK population. An analysis of the NDNS rolling programme

Young, Julie, Scott, Sophie, Clark, Lindsey and Lodge, John (2021) Associations between free sugar intake and markers of health in the UK population. An analysis of the NDNS rolling programme. British Journal of Nutrition. pp. 1-30. ISSN 0007-1145 (In Press)

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Recommendations for free sugar intake in the UK should be no more than 5% of total energy due to increased health risks associated with overconsumption. It was therefore of interest to examine free sugar intakes and associations with health parameters in the UK population. The UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) rolling programme (2008-2017) was used for this study. Dietary intake, anthropometrical measurements and clinical biomarker data collated from 5121 adult respondents aged 19-64 years, were statistically analysed. Compared to the average total carbohydrate intake (48% of energy), free sugars comprised 12.5%, with sucrose 9% and fructose 3.5%. Intakes of these sugars, apart from fructose, were significantly different over collection year (P<0.001), and significantly higher in males (P<0.001). Comparing those consuming above or below the UK recommendations for free sugars (5% energy) significant differences were found for BMI (P<0.001), triglyceride (P<0.001), HDL (P=0.006) and homocysteine concentrations (P=0.028), and significant gender differences were observed (e.g lower blood pressure in females). Regression analysis demonstrated that free sugar intake could predict plasma triglycerides, HDL and homocysteine concentrations (P<0.0001), consistent with the link between these parameters and cardiovascular disease. We also found selected unhealthy food choices (using the UK Eatwell Guide) to be significantly higher in those that consumed above the recommendations (P<0.0001) and were predictors of free sugar intakes (P<0.0001). We have shown that adult free sugar intakes in the UK population are associated with certain negative health parameters that support the necessary reduction in free sugar intakes for the UK population.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: free sugar, sucrose, health, NDNS
Subjects: B400 Nutrition
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2021 15:58
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2021 16:00

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