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Nutrients 2016, 8(9), 582; doi:10.3390/nu8090582

Total and Free Sugar Content of Canadian Prepackaged Foods and Beverages

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3E2, Canada
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 3M7, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2016 / Revised: 9 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
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A number of recommendations for policy and program interventions to limit excess free sugar consumption have emerged, however there are a lack of data describing the amounts and types of sugar in foods. This study presents an assessment of sugar in Canadian prepackaged foods including: (a) the first systematic calculation of free sugar contents; (b) a comprehensive assessment of total sugar and free sugar levels; and (c) sweetener and free sugar ingredient use, using the University of Toronto’s Food Label Information Program (FLIP) database 2013 (n = 15,342). Food groups with the highest proportion of foods containing free sugar ingredients also had the highest median total sugar and free sugar contents (per 100 g/mL): desserts (94%, 15 g, and 12 g), sugars and sweets (91%, 50 g, and 50 g), and bakery products (83%, 16 g, and 14 g, proportion with free sugar ingredients, median total sugar and free sugar content in Canadian foods, respectively). Free sugar accounted for 64% of total sugar content. Eight of 17 food groups had ≥75% of the total sugar derived from free sugar. Free sugar contributed 20% of calories overall in prepackaged foods and beverages, with the highest at 70% in beverages. These data can be used to inform interventions aimed at limiting free sugar consumption. View Full-Text
Keywords: sugars; free sugar; nutrition labelling; food composition; food supply; Canada; public health; policy sugars; free sugar; nutrition labelling; food composition; food supply; Canada; public health; policy

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bernstein, J.T.; Schermel, A.; Mills, C.M.; L’Abbé, M.R. Total and Free Sugar Content of Canadian Prepackaged Foods and Beverages. Nutrients 2016, 8, 582.

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