U.S. HOUSEHOLD PURCHASES OF NO- AND LOW-SUGAR PRODUCTS FROM KEY FOOD GROUP SOURCES OF ADDED SUGAR, 2002-2014 Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
Creator
  • Powell, Elyse
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Nutrition
Abstract
  • Despite recent declines in added sugar intake, population sugar consumption remains above recommended levels. More than two thirds of added sugars consumed in the U.S. comes from stores, and more than 75% of added sugars consumed comes from the top eight food and beverage group sources. As such, widespread public and private efforts to promote purchases of no- and low- sugar alternatives to these foods and beverages are seen as promising strategies to reduce population sugar consumption. However, trends in household no- and low-sugar products purchases in these eight key food groups have not been assessed over this time period. Further, there are concerns that ongoing efforts to promote no- and low- sugar products will not equitably reach minority and low-income populations, and may unintentionally increase consumption of low-calorie sweeteners. We currently do not know whether there are racial/ethnic and income differences in purchases of these products. We additionally do not know what proportion of no- and low-sugar product purchases contain low-calorie sweeteners. One reason for the scarcity of research on no- and low-sugar purchases is that there is no comprehensive, consistent definition of low-sugar used in the U.S.. The FDA does not currently define low-sugar. Previous research has alternatively used definitions that focus on calories per labelled servings, which are not consistent across brands and products, or on low-calorie sweetener consumption, which does not capture all low-sugar products. This research addressed these gaps using the 2002-2014 Nielsen Homescan Consumer Panel. Homescan captures year-long household purchases of packaged foods by providing households with a barcode scanner. Scanned barcodes are then linked to product specific nutrient information, including total sugar content, package volume or weight, and ingredients lists. This product specific information facilitates our classification of no- and low-sugar products in eight key food and beverage groups. We then used Homescan’s nationally representative sample of household purchases to examine trends in no- and low-sugar product purchases from 2002 through 2014 in these eight food groups. We also examined cross-sectional differences in no- and low-sugar product purchases by household race/ethnicity and income for each year from 2002 through 2014. Finally, we examined trends in the proportion of no- and low-sugar purchases that contain different types of sweeteners.
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Advisor
  • Poti, Jennifer
  • Mayer-Davis, Elizabeth
  • Adair, Linda
  • Howard, Annie Green
  • Robinson, Whitney
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2018
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