Good news! Only a modest reduction in added sugars consumption is needed to achieve the Healthy People 2030 target

Reducing caloric intake from added sugars is a Leading Health Indicator in Healthy People 2030, a national public health initiative led by the US Department of Health and Human Services that sets data-driven national objectives to improve health and well-being over the next decade. Although many Americans consume too much sugar, investigators found that only a modest reduction in added sugars intake is needed to reach a population mean of 11.5% of calories from added sugars by 2030. Prioritizing reducing added sugars intake among people not meeting recommendations could help those most at risk for chronic disease related to added sugars consumption. They report their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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“Diets high in added sugars are associated with adverse health outcomes such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease,” said Ellen W. Stowe, PhD, MPH, lead investigator and fellow, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, TN, USA. “We wanted to study what kind of reduction in added sugars intake was needed to achieve this Healthy People 2030 target.”

Although the consumption of added sugars has declined in the United States, many Americans still consume too much. The average added sugar consumption of persons two years and older in 2013–2016 was 13.5% of total calories. Less than half the population — only about 35% of children aged two to 19 years and 47% of adults 20 years and older — met the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendation of less than 10%.

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