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Over one-tenth of the total number of calories consumed by American adults come from sugars added to foods and beverages, a new study has found.
The new data are based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which evaluates food and beverage habits through in-person interviews about dietary habits. The latest results were gleaned from interviews with about 15,700 adults, ages 20 and older, conducted from 2005 to 2010.
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The recent findings suggest about 13 percent of the survey participants' caloric intake came from added sugars --- relatively high, with respect to the government's 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which advised no more than 5 to 15 percent of all consumed calories should come from solid fats and added sugars.
The statistics showed men consume about 335 calories a day from added sugars --- which included sugars added to prepared and processed foods but not added at the table --- while women consumed 239 calories.
The numbers also revealed approximately two-thirds, or 67 percent, of the added sugars in question came from food, with and the other third, 33 percent, coming from beverages.
Even so, "these results may underestimate the actual sugar intake because people may add sugar to cereal in the morning and to beverages such as coffee and tea," Bethene Ervin, the study's lead author and a nutritional epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics," was quoted saying in a report by USA Today.
A similar study released last year by a research team that included Ervin showed children and teens were getting about 16 percent --- 322 calories --- of their daily intake from added sugars. It was found boys consumed 362 calories in added sugars a day and girls, 282 calories.
The current intake of added sugars is far greater than what American Heart Association recommends.
The group advises men consume no more than 150 calories a day from added sugars, or about 9 teaspoons. Then, for women, the association allows no more than 100 calories a day, or about 6 teaspoons of added sugars.
The heart association notes that research links high intake of added sugars to poor health, which includes obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other risk conditions for heart disease and stroke.
"Most of us don't have room in our diets for this many calories from added sugars," said Rachel Johnson, a spokeswoman for the heart association and a nutrition professor at the University of Vermont, told USA Today. "There is a small glimmer of hope that added sugar consumption is declining modestly due to the reduction in full-calorie soft drinks, but the amount people are consuming is still substantially higher than it should be."