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Men's Health

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Younger Men Biggest Eaters of Added Sugars

Sweetened food and beverages are source of too many empty calories, experts say

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Denise Mann

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Young U.S. adults are consuming more added sugars in their food and drinks than older -- and apparently wiser -- folks, according to a new government report.

Released Wednesday, data from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that from 2005 to 2010, older adults with higher incomes tended to consume less added sugar -- defined as sweeteners added to processed and prepared foods -- than younger people.

Sugary sodas tend to bear the brunt of the blame for added sugar in the American diet, but the new report showed that foods were the greater source. One-third of calories from added sugars came from beverages. Of note, most of those calories were consumed at home as opposed to outside of the house, the study showed.

The report, published in the May issue of the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, found that the number of calories derived from added sugar tended to decline with advancing age among both men and women. Those aged 60 and older consumed markedly fewer calories from this source then their counterparts aged 20 to 59.

Overall, about 13 percent of adults' total calories came from added sugars. The U.S Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise that no more than 5 percent to 15 percent of calories stem from solid fats and added sugars combined.

That likely means that "most people continue to consume more food from this category that often does not provide the nutrition of other food groups," said registered dietitian Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.

"This report shows that efforts to educate Americans about healthful eating are still falling short," Diekman said.

The researchers found that men consumed more added sugar than women: 335 calories per day versus 239, respectively. There were also differences among racial and ethnic groups. For example, black adults consumed more calories from added sugar than did white or Mexican-American adults.

More than one-third of U.S. adults are currently obese, according to the CDC. Consuming too much sugar is linked to increased risk for weight gain and obesity.

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