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Intake of free sugars and micronutrient dilution in Australian adults

16 / 04 / 18

Finding: Peak intake of nutrients was between 5-15% energy from free sugars (%EFS). Significant reductions occurred at >25%EFS and some micronutrient intakes were reduced at <5%EFS.

Summary: Researchers from the University of Sydney analysed 6150 adult respondents from the Australian Health Survey 2011-12 to determine the threshold level of free-sugar intake at which a decrease in micronutrient intake occurred. They used their own (previously published) methodology to determine free sugar intake, and six modified cut-offs for %EFS based on WHO and Institute of Medicine. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, SES, country of birth, dieting and smoking status and residential remoteness. Logistic regression was used to calculate the Odds Ratios of not meeting Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) for Australia and New Zealand with an increase in %EFS. They found an increase in discretionary food with an increase in free sugar intake. Micronutrient dilution was evident at >25%EFS and at <5%EFS some micronutrients were reduced. Peak nutrient intake was evidence at 5-15%EFS. The authors concluded that >25%EFS has a diluting effect on most nutrients, however <5%EFS may increase the risk of undesirable low micronutrient consumption related to inadequate energy intake.

Citation: Mok A, Ahmad R, Rangan A, Louie JCY. Intake of free sugars and micronutrient dilution in Australian adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2018;107(1):94-104