J Nutr Health.  2014 Aug;47(4):268-276. 10.4163/jnh.2014.47.4.268.

Dietary total sugar intake of Koreans: Based on the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), 2008-2011

  • 1Nutrition Policy and Promotion Team, Korea Health Industry Development Institute, Chungbuk 363-700, Korea.
  • 2Nutrition Safety Policy Division, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Chungbuk 363-700, Korea.
  • 3Bureau of Health Industry Promotion, Korea Health Industry Development Institute, Chungbuk 363-700, Korea. kimci@khidi.or.kr


The aim of this study is to estimate total sugar intake and identify major food sources of total sugar intake in the diet of the Korean population.
Dietary intake data of 33,745 subjects aged one year and over from the KNHANES 2008-2011 were used in the analysis. Information on dietary intake was obtained by one day 24-hour recall method in KNHANES. A database for total sugar content of foods reported in the KNHANES was established using Release 25 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a total sugar database from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, and information from nutrition labeling of processed foods. With this database, total sugar intake of each subject was estimated from dietary intake data using SAS.
Mean total sugar intake of Koreans was 61.4 g/person/day, corresponding to 12.8% of total daily energy intake. More than half of this amount (35.0 g/day, 7.1% of daily energy intake) was from processed foods. The top five processed food sources of total sugar intake for Koreans were granulated sugar, carbonated beverages, coffee, breads, and fruit and vegetable drinks. Compared to other age groups, total sugar intake of adolescents and young adults was much higher (12 to 18 yrs, 69.6 g/day and 19 to 29 yrs, 68.4 g/day) with higher beverage intake that beverage-driven sugar amounted up to 25% of total sugar intake.
This study revealed that more elaborated and customized measures are needed for control of sugar intake of different subpopulation groups, even though current total sugar intake of Koreans was within the range (10-20% of daily energy intake) recommended by Dietary Reference Intakes for Koreans. In addition, development of a more reliable database on total sugar and added sugar content of foods commonly consumed by Koreans is warranted.


total sugar intake; beverage; Koreans
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