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Sources of Calories from Added Sugars among the US Population, 2005–06


The purpose of this research was to identify the contributions of specific foods to intake of calories from added sugars in the US population age 2 and older.

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We used the 2003–04 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine the contribution of specific foods to intake of calories from added sugars. The dietary intake data collected in the survey were catalogued according to discrete food codes. For this analysis, food codes representing similar foods -- such as the various types of pasta dishes -- were combined to provide an indication of the contribution of distinct food items to intake of the dietary component being studied. That is, the food codes were sorted into 96 mutually exclusive food categories, termed specific foods.

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There are separate tables for children/adolescents and the total population.

Children & Adolescents

US Population

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  • Rankings depend in part on how ubiquitously the specific food is consumed. Foods that are the richest sources of added sugars are not necessarily the major contributors. Because some foods are commonly consumed in the population they result in a significant contribution to the total intake.
  • The mean contribution (in teaspoons) represents the average per capita. For example, all persons age 2 and older consume an average of 7.5 teaspoons of added sugars from soda/energy/sports drinks per day. If the analysis was restricted to only those people who reported drinking such beverages on a given day, average added sugars intake from those beverages would be higher.

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Suggested Citation

Suggested citation for information contained on this page:

Sources of Calories from Added Sugars among the US Population, 2005–06. Applied Research Program Web site. National Cancer Institute. Updated April 11, 2014. Accessed May 4, 2016.

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Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014