November, 2020

The NIJZ investigated the risk of excessive intake of sugars in the population of Slovenia in the framework of the project “Sugar in the diet”, funded by the Ministry of Health and the Public Agency for Research, in close connection with the nationally representative Si.Menu dietary survey.

The survey covered 1,248 people aged between 10 and 74 years. They found that 44% of adolescents, 16% of adults and 19% of the elderly consumed more than 10% of their energy from free sugars, while the situation is much worse with the newer, stricter recommendations. As many as 87% of adolescents were found to have a daily energy intake from free sugars higher than 5%. Adolescents consume most of their free sugars through sugary drinks and fruit juices, cakes, cakes and pastries, and dairy products. Among adults and the elderly, sugary drinks and cakes, cakes and pastries are also the main source of free sugars, with honey and table sugar in third place. The survey showed that children and adolescents are the most problematic in terms of excessive consumption of free sugars, which can lead to a variety of health problems. The key advice is to encourage the choice of less sugary foods, smaller portions and less frequent consumption of such foods.

Doc. Dr Matej Gregorič, National Institute of Public Health: “Studies have shown that excessive consumption of free sugars has adverse health effects even independent of excess body weight, so an appropriate body weight should not mislead us into unhealthy eating. Consumption of free sugars is also one of the main reasons for the development of tooth decay and related oral health problems, which are one of the most prevalent health problems in the modern world, even in children.”

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EU Funds

The project is part-funded by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and the European Union through the European Social Fund. The operation is financed under the Operational Programme for the Implementation of the European Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, Priority Axis 9 “Social inclusion and reducing the risk of poverty”, Priority Investment 9.1 “Active inclusion, including the promotion of equal opportunities and active participation, and improving employability”, Specific Objective 9.1.2 “Empowering target groups to move towards the labour market”.