4364.0.55.011 - Australian Health Survey: Consumption of added sugars, 2011-12  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/04/2016  First Issue
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27 April 2016
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Consumption of added sugars exceeds recommendations

One in two Australians (52 per cent) usually exceed the World Health Organisation's (WHO) recommendation that free sugars contribute to less than 10 per cent of total energy intake, according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

Director of Health, Louise Gates, said the new ABS report showed the average amount of free sugars consumed was 60 grams per day (equivalent to 14 level teaspoons of white sugar).

Free sugars include the added sugars from food and beverage processing and preparation as well as honey and the sugar naturally present in fruit juice.

"The groups most likely to exceed the WHO recommendation were children and young people aged 9-13 and 14-18 years with close to three-quarters of them usually deriving 10 per cent or more of their energy from free sugars," said Ms Gates.

"The highest consumption of free sugars was among males aged 14-18 years who averaged 22 teaspoons per day, while the top 10 per cent of male teenagers have at least 38 teaspoons of free sugars per day."

Beverages were the source of just over half of the free sugars, with soft drinks, sports and energy drinks providing 19 per cent, followed by fruit and vegetable juices with 13 per cent. The leading food sources of free sugars were muffins, cakes or scones and confectionary (each contributing 8.7 per cent), followed by free sugars in honey, jams (and similar spreads), ice confection and plain sugar.

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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