Association between added sugar intake and micronutrient dilution: a cross-sectional study in two adult Swedish populations

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Background: The evidence on the impact of high sugar consumption on micronutrient dilution does not yet allow for the establishment of clear thresholds of consumption. To establish upper and lower limit intake thresholds for added sugar, more studies from different countries and multiple populations are needed. The aim of this study was to examine the association between the intakes of added sugar and various micronutrients among the adult Swedish population across almost two decades.

Methods: The data were obtained from the samples from two populations: 1) Riksmaten Adults, a national dietary survey (n = 1797, 44% male, aged 18-80 years, data collection from 2010 to 11) that assessed dietary intake using a 4-day web-based food diary; and 2) the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study, a population-based cohort study (n = 12,238, 45% male, aged 45-68 years, data collection from 1991 to 1994) that assessed dietary intake via a combination of a 7-day food diary, a food frequency questionnaire and an interview. The mean daily intake of nine micronutrients (calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc), adjusted for age, sex, BMI and energy intake, were examined across six added-sugar-intake groups (< 5%E, 5-7.5%E, 7.5-10%E, 10-15%E, 15-20%E, and >  20%E).

Results: We observed significant inverse associations between the intake of added sugar and the intake of all micronutrients in both populations. The associations were linear; however, we could not determine the threshold of added sugar intake beyond which the micronutrient intake was clearly compromised.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that in two Swedish populations the higher the intake of added sugar in the diet, the more likely it is that the intake of micronutrients will be compromised, in two Swedish populations. However, although the trends are significant and consistent with those obtained in other studies on the subject, future studies are needed in order to build the necessary scientific knowledge to establish a threshold of added sugar intake based on micronutrient dilution.

TidskriftNutrition & Metabolism
StatusPublished - 2020 feb.

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© The Author(s). 2020.

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