What is your daily sugar intake Australia?

There’s a lot of publicity about sugar these days. But when it comes to daily sugar intake, Australia isn’t faring so well.

When the World Health Organisation recommended lowering ‘added’ daily sugar intake to 6 teaspoons per day (10% of calorie intake) in 2005, I thought to myself…

“…gee I don’t each much added sugar – definitely not that much – I should be ok.”

Is that true?

I decided it was worth checking. After all, humans are renowned for overestimating or underestimating themselves and their habits.

My clients often underestimate what they eat and how much they eat. And in the book The Expert’s Guide to Fat Loss, Dr Garry Egger says:

People tend to under-estimate their food intake (the ‘eye-mouth’ gap) and over-estimate their physical activity (the ‘foot-brain’ gap), and this becomes more apparent with your level of obesity.

Daily Sugar Intake Australia

The sugar data for Australian adults looks like this (1):

  • 45% of Australian adults’ energy comes from carbohydrates,
  • about half of this (22.5%) comes from simple sugars (more than recommended 10%).

How much sugar does 22.5% work out to be?

  • In a ‘standard’ 2000 calorie-per-day diet, 22.5% equals 450 calories of sugar.
  • There are 4 calories in a gram of sugar, so that’s about 112g of sugar per day.
  • Divide 112/4 and you can work out that Australians eat an average of 28 teaspoons of sugar per day.

That’s 4.5 times the recommended 6 teaspoons per day!

A Typical Downsize Me Client

In my experience, a typical Australian woman who comes to Downsize Me for assistance with healthy eating and weight loss, eats something like this on a typical day.

Even if you don’t eat exactly like this, chances are your sugar intake is roughly equivalent, but made up of different versions of the foods listed, with natural and added sugars in them.

It’s interesting to see how much natural sugar is consumed, even when you take away the added sugars.

There’s a lot of publicity about sugar these days. But when it comes to daily sugar intake, Australia isn’t faring so well. When the World Health Organisation recommended lowering ‘added’ daily sugar intake to 6 teaspoons per day (10% of calorie intake) in 2005, I thought to myself  gee I don’t each much added sugar – definitely not that much – I should be ok.  Is that true? I decided it was worth checking. After all, humans are renowned for overestimating or underestimating themselves and their habits.  My clients often underestimate what they eat and how much they eat. And in the book The Expert’s Guide to Fat Loss, Dr Garry Egger says: People tend to under-estimate their food intake (the ‘eye-mouth’ gap) and over-estimate their physical activity (the ‘foot-brain’ gap), and this becomes more apparent with your level of obesity.  How Many Grams of Sugar Per Day do Australians Eat? The sugar data for Australian adults looks like this (1): •	45% of Australian adults’ energy comes from carbohydrates,  •	about half of this (22.5%) comes from simple sugars (more than recommended 10%).  How much sugar does 22.5% work out to be? In a reasonably ‘standard’ 2000 calorie-per-day diet, 22.5% equals 450 calories of sugar.  There are 4 calories in a gram of sugar, so that’s about 112g of sugar per day. Divide 112/4 and you can work out that Australians eat an average of 28 teaspoons of sugar per day. That’s 4.5 times the recommended 6 teaspoons per day! A Typical Downsize Me Client  In my experience, a typical Australian woman who comes to Downsize Me for assistance with healthy eating and weight loss, eats something like this on a typical day. Even if you don’t eat exactly like this, chances are your sugar intake is roughly equivalent, but made up of different versions of the foods listed, with natural and added sugars in them. It’s interesting to see how much natural sugar is consumed, even when you take away the added sugars.

In terms of daily sugar intake Australia has generally reduced the amount of sugar they eat. Between 1980 and 2003 (1):

  • the use of sweeteners decreased by 16%, 
  • pre capita consumption of refined sucrose decreased by 23%, and
  • the use of glucose, dextrose, sucrose, fructose etc used in manufacting, increased slightly. 

High Natural Sugar Foods

Daily Sugar Intake Australia | Downsize Me

With all this talk about how much sugar people eat, it’s worth looking at a sample list of foods that are naturally high in sugar.

Here is a list!

Daily Sugar Intake Australia | Downsize Me

Tracking Your Sugar Intake

There are two easy ways to calculate your sugar intake if you want to keep track of it.

  1. Use an app

There are plenty of apps around that will allow you to enter meals, foods and ingredients, to calculate sugar.

Example MyFitnessPal

  1. Use an online database

I prefer this as the data is accurate (no user data has been added) and standardised for Australian foods.

Example: www.dietclub.com.au (uses Australian data, long-established site created by an Australian dietician)

Tracking your sugar intake is a good first step to answering that initial question, “how much sugar do you eat?”

References

  • Cadence Health (2013) Accredited Certificate of Nutrition Text Book
Melanie White

Melanie White

Chief Inspiration Coach

I'm a quirky scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ women to understand and eat right for their body type.