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To assess total sugar (TS), added sugar (AS) and free sugar (FS) intakes, dietary sources, adherence to recommendations and determinants of consumption, in a Portuguese national sample.
Cross-sectional study. Dietary assessment was obtained by two food diaries in children aged <10 years and two non-consecutive 24 h recalls for other age groups. TS, AS and FS intakes were estimated by using SPADE software. TS content in food was estimated at the ingredient level. AS content in food was assessed through a systematic methodology and FS was based on the WHO definition.
National Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (IAN-AF 2015–2016), Portugal.
Representative sample from the Portuguese population, aged from 3 months to 84 years (n 5811).
Mean daily intake and contribution to total energy intake (E%) were 84·3 g/d (18·5 E%) for TS, 32·1 g/d (6·8 E%) for AS and 35·3 g/d (7·5 E%) for FS. Of the population, 76 % adhered to the FS recommendation (FS < 10 E%). The lowest adherence was in children (51·6 %) and adolescents (51·3 %). The main dietary source of TS was fruit across all ages, except in adolescents which was soft drinks. In children, the main dietary sources of FS were yoghurts and sweets, soft drinks in adolescents and table sugar in adults/elderly. FS intake was lower in children with more educated parents and in adults who practised physical activity regularly, and higher among smokers.
Interventions ought to be planned towards decreasing intakes of added and free sugars considering population-specific characteristics.
To evaluate daily eating frequency (main meals and snacks) in relation to weight status in children aged 3–9 years, representative of the Portuguese population.
Cross-sectional study. Dietary intake was estimated as the mean of two non-consecutive days of food diaries, followed by face-to-face interviews. Weight and height were measured by trained observers. Eating occasions (EO) were defined by the children’s caregiver; an EO was considered separate if the time of consumption was different from other EO and it provided at least 209 kJ (50 kcal). Main meals defined as ‘breakfast’, ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ could be selected only once per day. The remaining EO were considered snacks. The association between eating frequency and overweight/obesity was evaluated through logistic regressions weighted for the population distribution.
National Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey of the Portuguese population, 2015–2016.
Portuguese children aged 3–9 years with complete dietary data and anthropometric measurements (n 517).
Overall, the number of daily EO ranged from 3·5 to 11, and on average children had 5·7 daily EO. After adjustment for child’s sex, age and total energy intake, and considering only plausible energy intake reporters, having < 3 snacks/d was positively associated with being overweight/obese (OR = 1·98; 95 % CI 1·00, 3·90), compared with having ≥ 3 snacks/d.
Lower daily frequency of EO was associated with increased odds of being overweight or obese in children. A higher eating frequency, maintaining the same energy intake, seems to contribute to a healthy body weight in children.
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