Consumption of Added Sugar Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2005–2008

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: R. Bethene Ervin, Ph.D., R.D.; Brian K. Kit, M.D., M.P.H.; Margaret D. Carroll, M.S.P.H.; and Cynthia L. Ogden, Ph.D., M.R.P. – Number 87, February 2012.

Key findings


Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–2008


  • Non-Hispanic white children and adolescents consume a larger percent of their calories from added sugars than do Mexican-American children and adolescents.
  • There was no difference in consumption of added sugars by income among children and adolescents.
  • More added sugars calories came from foods rather than beverages.
  • More added sugars calories were consumed at home rather than away from home.


The consumption of added sugars, which are sweeteners added to processed and prepared foods, has been associated with measures of cardiovascular disease risk among adolescents, including adverse cholesterol concentrations (1). Although the percent of daily calories derived from added sugars declined between 1999–2000 and 2007–2008 (2), consumption of added sugars remains high in the diets of Americans. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting total intake of discretionary calories, which include added sugars and solid fats, to 5%–15% of daily caloric intake (3), yet many Americans continue to exceed these recommendations (2). This data brief presents results for added sugar consumption among U.S. children and adolescents for 2005–2008. Read More