The effect of total sugar intake on nutrient intake and food group consumption was examined in children.
Twenty-four hour dietary recalls were collected on a sample of 568 ten-year-olds from two cross-sectional surveys. The population was stratified according to total sugar intake quartiles: < or = 25th (46 g/1000 kcal), 25-50th (67 g/1000 kcal), 50-75th (81 g/1000 kcal) and > or = 75th (106 g/1000 kcal).
No significant difference was shown in energy intakes across the quartiles and no significant race or gender differences were observed in mean total sugar intakes. However, with increasing total sugar intake, there was a significant linear decrease in mean intakes of protein, fat, saturated fat, starch, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins B6 and E, thiamin, niacin, iron, and zinc; and a significant linear increase in mean intakes of carbohydrate, fructose, lactose, sucrose, vitamin D, and calcium. Eating patterns reflected the differing nutrient intakes, with high sugar consumers having significantly higher intakes of total g of candy, beverages and milk and lower intakes of total g of meats, and cheese than lower sugar consumers. The nutritional quality of children's diets high in total sugar appear to be adequate regarding vitamin and mineral intakes and are closer to meeting current dietary fat recommendations.