Total, free, and added Sugar consumption and adherence to guidelines: the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2007-2010

D. Sluik*, L. van Lee, A.I.P. Engelen, E.J.M. Feskens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


A high sugar intake is a subject of scientific debate due to the suggested health implications and recent free sugar recommendations by the WHO. The objective was to complete a food composition table for added and free sugars, to estimate the intake of total sugars, free sugars, and added sugars, adherence to sugar guidelines and overall diet quality in Dutch children and adults. In all, 3817 men and women (7–69 years) from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2007–2010 were studied. Added and free sugar content of products was assigned by food composition tables and using labelling and product information. Diet was assessed with two 24-h recalls. Diet quality was studied in adults with the Dutch Healthy Diet-index. Total sugar intake was 22% Total Energy (%TE), free sugars intake 14 %TE, and added sugar intake 12 %TE. Sugar consumption was higher in children than adults. Main food sources of sugars were sweets and candy, non-alcoholic beverages, dairy, and cake and cookies. Prevalence free sugar intake <10 %TE was 5% in boys and girls (7–18 years), 29% in women, and 33% in men. Overall diet quality was similar comparing adults adherent and non-adherent to the sugar guidelines, although adherent adults had a higher intake of dietary fiber and vegetables. Adherence to the WHO free sugar guidelines of <5 %TE and <10 %TE was generally low in the Netherlands, particularly in children. Adherence to the added and free sugar guidelines was not strongly associated with higher diet quality in adults.
Original languageEnglish
Article number70
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2016


  • Added sugars
  • Diet quality
  • Free sugars
  • Guidelines
  • Sugars
  • Survey


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