Researchers and public health organizations have increasingly warned that high sugar intake can lead to the development of various metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
A new study published by Statistics Canada this month asks whether Canadians have been able to avoid the sweet substance, an increasingly difficult task when you can find some way in almost all food products.
The scientists behind the study set out to understand how and if total sugar consumption among Canadians has changed in Canada between 2004 and 2015. They discovered a decrease in total consumption for all age groups During the period, but an increase in the proportion of the daily calorie intake from sugar. Food intake of food increases, while sugar intake of drinks has dropped.
To understand if the consumption of sugar changed, Statc scientists compared the total sugar consumption of more than 35,000 and 20,000 Canadians in 2004 and 2015, respectively, to the Canadian national health survey – Nutrition. The participants in the study had to report all the food and drinks they had the day before.
"Interesting questions arise," says Dr. Catherine L. Mah, Chair of Research in Canada for the promotion of healthy populations and associate professor at the Dal Dal Health School.
Changes in sugar consumption
Although the study showed that the total grams of total sugar diminished, it also showed that the percentage of sugar obtained from specific foods such as yogurt and baked goods among young children was increased (2-8 years).
"Do young children eat more yogurt and are exposed to more sugars? People may have the message about sugars in drinks and beverage drinks have declined in places like schools, but they are escaping some of other foods such as baked goods? "
Dr. Mah explained some of the challenges associated with the obtaining of data on food intake.
"The diet to measure is difficult," he says. "It's not impossible. Science in this is getting better. But because of this, it's sometimes difficult to directly compare what people eat in past and current surveys."
The authors identified three possible reasons for the changes they saw over time. In the first place, they observed a reduction in the consumption of beverages with sugar among Canadians. Second, the notebook of the food model used in the survey was compared between the two years. Finally, they warned that the participants overestimated or underestimated their diet.
Classification of sweet things
Dr. Mah described this even more. "When you ask the people about what they ate, they would point out in a reasonable and accurate way, they can report little about how much they are consuming in terms of energy, or they can report them excessively. This is an important issue in the Nutrition science and this study has used some of our best ways to cope with this in the analysis. "
To account for the bad information, the researchers classified the respondents in three groups: unbelievable, plausible journalists and extra journalists. It was only considered that 58% of respondents adults (over the age of 19) had accurately informed their diet: plausible journalists.
The study also found that drinks remain among the main sources of total sugar for Canadians of all age groups. Dr. Mah recommended that Canadians refer to Health Canada's recently published dietary guides to obtain updated dietary information.
"The new Food Guide of Canada is a step forward and positive for healthy eating. The last food guide was published in 2007, so it has been more than a decade since the last editing, "he says. "An important message in the new Food Guide is to make water your choice. It also recommends that Canadians limit highly processed foods, which can be added sugar sources in the diet."
The Statc studio has inspired many new questions. According to Dr. Mah, this is the purpose of scientific research. "A really good study does not give us answers," says "it raises new questions. It provides information on how to rethink our existing questions, collect data in more rigorous ways and analyze them better."