Trends in Intake of Energy and Total Sugar from Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in the United States among Children and Adults, NHANES 2003-2016

Nutrients. 2019 Aug 25;11(9):2004. doi: 10.3390/nu11092004.


Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) increases total caloric intake, is linked to cardiometabolic outcomes as well as dental caries, and sugar in SSBs is associated with mortality and frailty among adults. We describe energy and total sugar intake trends among the United States (US) population from SSBs, soft drinks, other beverage groups, and the total diet based on the first 24-h recall data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycles (2003-2004 through 2015-2016). SSBs included soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks, but excluded sports beverages with protein and sweetened teas/coffees. Among the total population (age ≥2 years: 57,026), energy intake from SSBs declined significantly from 183.9 ± 6.9 mean kcal/d (±SE) in 2003-2004 to 95.0 ± 3.5 in 2015-2016, while total sugar intake declined from 43.6 ± 1.7 mean g/d to 22.3 ± 0.8 (p-trend < 0.0001). Decreases were found for energy and total sugar intake, as well as percentage of energy and total sugar intake from SSBs, soft drinks, and all beverages for all age groups examined (≥2, 2-19, ≥20 years) (p-trend < 0.0001). From 2003 to 2016, energy and sugar intake from all beverages, SSBs, soft drinks, and the total diet decreased among the total population, children, and adults.

Keywords: NHANES; SSBs; adults; children; energy; total sugar; trends.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / trends*
  • Dietary Sugars / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages*
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Sugars