Total and Free Sugars Consumption in a Slovenian Population Representative Sample

Nutrients. 2020 Jun 9;12(6):1729. doi: 10.3390/nu12061729.


Excessive free sugars consumption is associated with poor health outcomes. Thus, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting free sugars intake to no more than 10% of total energy intake. To evaluate current intakes of dietary sugars and monitor the adherence to the guidelines, the objective of this study was to comprehensively assess total and free sugars consumption of different age groups within the Slovenian population. The Slovenian national food consumption survey SI.Menu 2017/18 was conducted on representative samples of adolescents (10-17 years), adults (18-64 years), and the elderly (65-74 years) using two non-consecutive 24-hour dietary recalls. The analyses were carried out on a sample of 1248 study participants. Free sugars content in food was estimated based on previously established databases. The population weighted median free sugars intake accounted for 10.1% of total energy intake (TEI) among adolescents, 6.4% among adults, and 6.5% in the elderly population. Both total and free sugars consumption in the percentage of TEI were higher among women than men, in participants with lower education, and those with higher family net income. The main sources of free sugars in adolescents were beverages, cakes, muffins, pastry, and dairy products; for adults and the elderly, the key sources of free sugars were beverages, cakes, muffins, pastry, and sugars, honey, and related products. A total of 56% of adolescents, 84% of adults, and 81% of the elderly population adhered to the WHO free sugars guidelines. Additional measures will be required to further decrease free sugars consumption among the teenage population, in which dietary patterns are still of greatest concern.

Keywords: 24-hour recall; EU Menu; Slovenia; dietary intake; free sugars; nutrition survey; public health; sugars intake.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Dietary Sugars / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Slovenia
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • World Health Organization
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Sugars