4364.0.55.011 - Australian Health Survey: Consumption of added sugars, 2011-12  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/12/2017  First Issue
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13 December 2017
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Children lead the way in falling sugar consumption

A fall in children's consumption of sugary drinks drove an overall reduction in Australians' intake of added sugars in new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

New analysis of the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey showed that the average daily intake of free sugars (those added in the consumption and production of food as well as honey and those naturally present in fruit juices), declined by almost one-quarter (23%) for children aged between 2-18 between 1995 and 2011-12.

Director of Health at the ABS, Louise Gates, said: "Most of the decline of children’s free sugar consumption can be accounted for by the reduction in consumption of soft drinks, cordial and fruit juice/drinks.

"Per 10,000 kJ of energy, total free sugars of children aged 2-18 years dropped by almost six teaspoons of sugar on average (from 105 grams to 81 grams per day). As a proportion of total daily energy intake, it fell from 17 per cent of total energy in 1995 to 13 per cent in 2011-12.

“Beverages are the most common source of free sugars so the reduction in this has made a big difference."

Overall, the ABS data showed people received less energy from free sugars in 2011-12 than in 1995, 10.9 per cent compared with 12.5 per cent. For 2011-12, average Australian consumption of free sugars just exceeded the World Health Organisation's (WHO) globally recommended limit of 10 per cent.

Ms Gates said: "While parents may claim some credit in changing children’s habits, adults themselves had a more modest improvement with a 6 per cent reduction in their consumption of free sugars over the period (from 11.0 per cent in 1995 to 10.4 per cent in 2011-12)."

More details are available in Australian Health Survey: Consumption of Added Sugars (cat. no. 4364.0.55.011), available for free download from the ABS website, https://www.abs.gov.au

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