Consumption and Sources of Added Sugar in Thailand: A Review

Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2018;27(2):262-283. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.042017.08

Background and Objectives: The present review examined the best available evidence regarding consumption levels and sources of added sugar in different population groups in Thailand.
Methods and Study Design: Information was extracted from food balance sheets, household expenditure surveys, food consumption surveys, government reports, published and unpublished studies.
Results: A total of 24 references were obtained, comprising 8 nationally representative reports and 16 individual studies. Results were inconsistent. The National Statistical Office reported an available supply of 83 g sugar per capita per day in 2010. The 2009 Food Consumption Survey of Thai Population showed median intake of sugar and sweeteners for all age groups ranging from 2.0 to 20.0 g per day among males and from 2.0 to 15.7 g per day among females (below the Thai recommendation of 40 to 55 g/day). Studies on children suggested intake levels between 25 to 50 g/day, while studies on adults were inconsistent. Frequently consumed sources were table sugar, sweetened beverages, and sweet snacks (traditional desserts, baked products, crispy snacks).
Conclusions: Insufficient evidence exists regarding intake levels and sources of added sugar in Thailand. Limitations were the use of food frequency questionnaires or a single 24-h recall to assess intake, and outdated studies with small sample sizes. An updated nationally representative survey using improved methods is needed to determine the levels and sources of sugar intake in different population groups. These include biomarkers to establish levels of consumption and multiple 24-h recalls (at least two) to identify food sources that contribute significantly to excess sugar intake.

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