The objective of this study was to study the association between total sugar intake (TSI) levels of children aged 6–8 years old, nutrient intake and anthropometry. Food and beverage intakes were collected by a prospective three-day recall questionnaire. The 2237 children were distributed into three groups according to TSI percentiles. Mean TSI was 93.77 ± 25.72 g/day, 22%–25% of total caloric intake, with boys presenting an intake of 96.24 ± 24.34 g/day and girls 91.38 ± 26.78 g/day. Greater TSI was associated with higher body fat, parental education, energy intake, nutrients/1000 kcal, and lower weight z-scores, BMI z-scores, waist circumferences, and hip circumferences. Weight, height, and waist circumference had the highest R2
while body fat had the lowest. The percentage of total energy derived (%E) from protein decreased as the %E from TSI increased, while the opposite was true for carbohydrates and saccharides, while for fiber intake, the medium groups presented the highest intake/1000 kcal. For the remaining macronutrients studied, intake/1000 kcal decreased when the %E from TSI increased. Calcium, iodine, magnesium, vitamin B2, folate, and vitamin C intake increased as the %E from TSI increased, while the opposite was true for vitamin B12. Fiber, ω-6 PUFA, iodine, folate, vitamin D, and vitamin E intakes were insufficient across most of the sample. TSI levels in children were identified to exceed adult recommendations. It is not clear what the effect of up to an average of 21% of energy coming from total sugars has on childhood obesity and further research is needed in the pediatric population, however, opportunities exist to improve sugar intake patterns.
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