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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people consume around 14 per cent of their total energy intake as free sugars, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that free sugars contribute less than 10 per cent of total energy intake.
Director of Health, Louise Gates, said the new ABS report showed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are consuming an average of 18 teaspoons (or 75 grams) of free sugars per day (almost two cans of soft drink), four teaspoons more than non-Indigenous people (14 teaspoons or 60 grams).
"Free sugars include the sugars added by consumers in preparing foods and beverages plus the added sugars in manufactured foods, as well as honey and the sugar naturally present in fruit juice," said Ms Gates.
"The data shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in urban areas derived more energy from free sugars than those living in remote areas (14 per cent compared with 13 per cent)."
Free sugars contributed 18 per cent to dietary energy intake for teenage boys aged 14-18 years, who consumed 25 teaspoons (106 grams) of free sugars per day. This amount is equivalent to more than two and a half cans of soft drink.
More details are available in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Consumption of Added Sugars (cat. no. 4727.0.55.009), available for free download from the ABS website, https://www.abs.gov.au.
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