Added sugars and nutrient density in the diet of Danish children
AbstractThe relation between added sugars and density of dietary fibre and micronutrients was examined by analysing diets from 983 Danish girls and boys aged 4-14 years. The average intake of added sugars was 13.7 E% ranging from 3.4 to 38 E%. One fourth of the diets were below the recommended maximum level of 10 E%. No differences between sex and age groups were found. The diets were ranked and divided into quintiles (fifths) according to percentage of energy from added sugars. A strongly significant decline in nutrient density for all nutrients, except vitamin C, was observed as sugar concentration rose across quintiles. Nutrient densities expressed relative to recommended values varied from 30% to 300% illustrating that the nutritional significance of the dilution effect of added sugars differs from one nutrient to another. The results support the concept of "empty calories" and restriction of added sugars should still be recommended. Key words: Added sugars, children, empty calories, micronutrients, nutrient density
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