Dietary Intake and Sources of Added Sugars in Various Food Environments in Costa Rican Adolescents
Added sugar; Adolescents; Costa Rica; Home environment; Neighborhood environment; School environment
Consumption of added sugars, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), has been associated with several negative health outcomes during adolescence. This study aimed to identify dietary intake and food sources of added sugars in the home, school, and neighborhood environments of Costa Rican adolescents. Dietary intake of added sugars was determined using 3-day food records in a cross-sectional study of 818 adolescents aged 12 to 19 and enrolled in rural and urban schools in the province of San José. On average, 90% of adolescents consumed more than 10% of their total energy intake from added sugars. Furthermore, 74.0% of added sugars were provided at home, 17.4% at school, and 8.6% in the neighborhood. Added sugars were primarily provided by frescos (29.4%), fruit-flavored still drinks (22.9%), and sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages (12.3%), for a total contribution of 64.6%. Our findings suggest that Costa Rican adolescents have a plethora of added sugar sources in all food environments where they socialize. However, it is relevant for public health to consider the home and school environments as fundamental units of interventions aimed at reducing added sugars in the adolescent diet. Frescos prepared at home and school and fruit-flavored still drinks must be the focus of these interventions.
Monge-Rojas, Rafael; Vargas-Quesada, Rulamán; Colón-Ramos, Uriyoán; and Chinnock, Anne, "Dietary Intake and Sources of Added Sugars in Various Food Environments in Costa Rican Adolescents" (2022). GW Authored Works. Paper 8.