In 2011-12, Australians consumed an average of 60 grams of free sugars per day (equivalent to 14 teaspoons of white sugar). The majority of free sugar intakes comes from added sugars with an average 52 grams (or 12 teaspoons), with 7 grams of free sugars coming from honey and fruit juice.
Intakes of free sugars were highest among teenage males (aged 14-18 years), who consumed an average 92 grams per day. The top 10% of the 14-18 year old males were estimated to usually consume at least 160 grams (or 38 teaspoons) of free sugars per day.
Just over half of all Australians aged 2 years and over exceeded the WHO recommendation to limit energy from free sugars to less than 10% of dietary energy. Children and teenagers were most likely to exceed the recommendation with almost three-quarters of 9-13 and 14-18 year olds usually consuming 10% or more of their dietary energy from free sugars. The highest 10% of 14-18 year olds were deriving at least 23% of their energy from free sugars. Adults aged 51-70 years were least likely to exceed the recommendation (38% of males and 35% of females).
The majority (81%) of free sugars were consumed from the energy-dense, nutrient-poor ‘discretionary’ foods and beverages. Just over half (52%) of free sugars in the diet were consumed from beverages, with the leading beverages being soft drinks, electrolyte and energy drinks (19%), fruit and vegetable juices and drinks (13%) and cordial (4.9%). The leading foods were confectionary and cakes/muffins (each contributing 8.7%).