Last updated on 29 August 2008
Survey of sugar intake
This survey from Food Standards Agency Scotland shows that the main sources of sugar in the diets of children living in Scotland are soft drinks, confectionery, biscuits and cakes.
The survey was commissioned to provide information on the sugar intake of children aged between three and 16-years-old living in Scotland. It was also designed to track progress towards the Scottish Dietary Target which stipulates less than 10% of the total calories consumed should be Non Milk Extrinsic Sugars (NMES), which are sugars added to food and drink, table sugar and those present in fruit juices. The survey looked at the sugar intake of 1,700 Scottish children.
Key survey findings include:
- The average NMES consumption was 17.4% of calorie intake, which is higher than the Scottish Dietary Target of 10%. In the 2004 Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey, intake was 17.1% and in 1997 it was 16.7% in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.
- NMES intakes were higher in older children; sugar consumption was 15.8% of calories in three to seven year olds and up to 19.1% in 12 to 17 year olds.
- Intakes were higher in those living in less affluent areas, where more high sugar foods such as soft drinks were consumed.
- The results suggested NMES intake was significantly higher in children who had been treated for dental decay – 18.5% compared to 16.1% for those who had not received treatment for decay.
- There was no evidence of a difference in average consumption between children who were overweight and those who were not. This could be due to the youngsters eating less at the time of the study or under-reporting what they ate.