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Total and Free Sugar Content of Canadian Prepackaged Foods and Beverages

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ABSTRACT

A number of recommendations for policy and program interventions to limit excess free sugar consumption have emerged, however there are a lack of data describing the amounts and types of sugar in foods. This study presents an assessment of sugar in Canadian prepackaged foods including: (a) the first systematic calculation of free sugar contents; (b) a comprehensive assessment of total sugar and free sugar levels; and (c) sweetener and free sugar ingredient use, using the University of Toronto’s Food Label Information Program (FLIP) database 2013 (n = 15,342). Food groups with the highest proportion of foods containing free sugar ingredients also had the highest median total sugar and free sugar contents (per 100 g/mL): desserts (94%, 15 g, and 12 g), sugars and sweets (91%, 50 g, and 50 g), and bakery products (83%, 16 g, and 14 g, proportion with free sugar ingredients, median total sugar and free sugar content in Canadian foods, respectively). Free sugar accounted for 64% of total sugar content. Eight of 17 food groups had ≥75% of the total sugar derived from free sugar. Free sugar contributed 20% of calories overall in prepackaged foods and beverages, with the highest at 70% in beverages. These data can be used to inform interventions aimed at limiting free sugar consumption.

No MeSH data available.


Free sugar and naturally-occurring sugar as a proportion (%) of total sugar by major food group and overall (n = 15,259). Free sugar and naturally-occurring sugar as a percent of total sugar was calculated for each product and the average of those results is presented here.
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nutrients-08-00582-f003: Free sugar and naturally-occurring sugar as a proportion (%) of total sugar by major food group and overall (n = 15,259). Free sugar and naturally-occurring sugar as a percent of total sugar was calculated for each product and the average of those results is presented here.

Mentions: Overall, free sugar accounted for 62% of the total sugar in prepackaged foods and beverages; the remainder was from naturally-occurring sources of sugar (Figure 3). In nearly half of the major food categories examined, free sugar contributed at least 75% of total sugar. This ranged from 100% of the total sugar in the food group sugars and sweets, to 11% of the total sugar in the nuts and seeds food group. Of the top sugar-dense food groups, free sugar as a proportion of total sugar for bakery products was 79%, for desserts 81%, and for beverages 86%. Because some food categories contain very little total sugar, the addition of small amounts of free sugar can result in the percentages appearing quite high. For example, free sugar as a proportion of total sugar in fats and vinegars (81%), other foods and beverages (87%), and fish and seafood (85%) are high, but all had a median free sugar content of 0 g/100 g. A more detailed evaluation of free sugar at the subcategory and minor category level (Table 3), revealed that free sugar accounted for 100% of the total sugar in cookies, energy drinks, fruit drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks, dessert toppings and fillings, mayonnaise, bacon, eggs, and all subcategories of the sugars and sweets food group. Additionally, free sugar accounted for >90% of the total sugar in many baked desserts, muffins, cakes, cereal and granola bars, ready-to-eat cereals, and several minor categories of condiments and sauces.


Total and Free Sugar Content of Canadian Prepackaged Foods and Beverages
Free sugar and naturally-occurring sugar as a proportion (%) of total sugar by major food group and overall (n = 15,259). Free sugar and naturally-occurring sugar as a percent of total sugar was calculated for each product and the average of those results is presented here.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037566&req=5

nutrients-08-00582-f003: Free sugar and naturally-occurring sugar as a proportion (%) of total sugar by major food group and overall (n = 15,259). Free sugar and naturally-occurring sugar as a percent of total sugar was calculated for each product and the average of those results is presented here.
Mentions: Overall, free sugar accounted for 62% of the total sugar in prepackaged foods and beverages; the remainder was from naturally-occurring sources of sugar (Figure 3). In nearly half of the major food categories examined, free sugar contributed at least 75% of total sugar. This ranged from 100% of the total sugar in the food group sugars and sweets, to 11% of the total sugar in the nuts and seeds food group. Of the top sugar-dense food groups, free sugar as a proportion of total sugar for bakery products was 79%, for desserts 81%, and for beverages 86%. Because some food categories contain very little total sugar, the addition of small amounts of free sugar can result in the percentages appearing quite high. For example, free sugar as a proportion of total sugar in fats and vinegars (81%), other foods and beverages (87%), and fish and seafood (85%) are high, but all had a median free sugar content of 0 g/100 g. A more detailed evaluation of free sugar at the subcategory and minor category level (Table 3), revealed that free sugar accounted for 100% of the total sugar in cookies, energy drinks, fruit drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks, dessert toppings and fillings, mayonnaise, bacon, eggs, and all subcategories of the sugars and sweets food group. Additionally, free sugar accounted for >90% of the total sugar in many baked desserts, muffins, cakes, cereal and granola bars, ready-to-eat cereals, and several minor categories of condiments and sauces.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

A number of recommendations for policy and program interventions to limit excess free sugar consumption have emerged, however there are a lack of data describing the amounts and types of sugar in foods. This study presents an assessment of sugar in Canadian prepackaged foods including: (a) the first systematic calculation of free sugar contents; (b) a comprehensive assessment of total sugar and free sugar levels; and (c) sweetener and free sugar ingredient use, using the University of Toronto’s Food Label Information Program (FLIP) database 2013 (n = 15,342). Food groups with the highest proportion of foods containing free sugar ingredients also had the highest median total sugar and free sugar contents (per 100 g/mL): desserts (94%, 15 g, and 12 g), sugars and sweets (91%, 50 g, and 50 g), and bakery products (83%, 16 g, and 14 g, proportion with free sugar ingredients, median total sugar and free sugar content in Canadian foods, respectively). Free sugar accounted for 64% of total sugar content. Eight of 17 food groups had ≥75% of the total sugar derived from free sugar. Free sugar contributed 20% of calories overall in prepackaged foods and beverages, with the highest at 70% in beverages. These data can be used to inform interventions aimed at limiting free sugar consumption.

No MeSH data available.