Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) are used in the food supply to replace sugar and/or to reduce dietary energy intake. The aim of this research was to assess the consumption prevalence and food sources of NNS in the Australian population. Food group and nutrient intakes were assessed to compare diet quality of NNS consumers and non-consumers. Secondary analysis of the Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, 2011/12 was conducted (n
= 12,435) after identifying all NNS products consumed in the population. The proportion of participants that reported intake of NNS per day was 18.2% for adults (19+ years), and 8.5% for children (2–18 years), with the most common food sources being carbonated soft drinks, tabletop sweeteners, and yoghurt. Characteristics associated with NNS consumption in adults included being female, higher body mass index (BMI), self-reported diabetes status, and being on a weight-loss diet. For adults, NNS consumers had lower free sugar intake but energy intake did not differ from non-consumers. However, for children, no differences in free sugar or energy intake were observed between consumers and non-consumers. While these results support the use of NNS in reducing sugar intake, these data suggest compensatory increases in energy intake may occur.
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