Women in metro cities, on an average, consume higher quantities of added sugar than their male counterparts. The overall sugar intake of people in Mumbai is the highest among all the metropolitan cities, according to a survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), and sponsored by International Life Sciences Institute-India (ILSI-India).
The National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) had collated the dietary data from 16 major states during 2015-16 and re-coded it recipe-wise and metro city-wise to arrive at the conclusions. The findings were released recently.
It showed that, in general, women in metro cities consumed 20.2 grams of added sugar per day, while men consumed 18.7 grams per day.
Overall, intake of added sugar in metro cities, according to the survey, was lower than the level prescribed by the ICMR at 30 grams per day.
The overall intake of added sugar in the metros was 19.5 grams per day.
Added sugar was just 5.1 per cent of the total energy intake in cities. Cereals and millets were the most common form of consumption, followed by milk-based recipes.
Nutritionists describe added sugar as sugar carbohydrates added to food and beverages during their production.
This type of sugar is chemically indistinguishable from naturally occurring sugars, but the term “added sugar” is used to identify sweetened foods
The study showed that housewives consumed the highest quantity of sugar at 21.3 grams per day while professionals had the least at 15.4 grams per day. Labourers also consumed more sugar at 18.3 grams than that by professionals, the study showed.
This, the study attributed to greater awareness among professionals to the ill-effects of sugar compared to others.
The study also found that in metros, people from low income groups consumed higher quantities of sugar at 19.4 grams per day.
This compares to people from higher income levels at 18.8 grams/day.
People with low education also consumed more quantities of added sugar than those with higher education levels.
Surprisingly, the study also revealed that forward caste people had greater quantities of added sugar at 20.6 grams per day. Scheduled castes partook the least quantities at 17.3 grams.
Among age-groups, the survey found that in general, adults and the elderly had slightly more sugar than younger ones.
The highest intake of sugar at 20.5 grams a day was observed among older adults. Then came the 36-59 years age group, followed by the elderly (above 60 years) at 20.3 grams/ day.
Adolescents had sugar at 19.9 grams per day and younger adults (in the age group of 18-35 years) consumed 19.4 grams per day.
School children and pre-school children consumed 17.6 grams/day and 15.6 grams/day of added sugar, respectively.