Vorster and colleagues assessed the relationship between added sugar intake and noncommunicable disease risk factors in an African cohort study. Added sugars were defined as all monosaccharides and di-saccharides added to foods and beverages during processing, cooking, and at the table.
The study was a 5-year follow-up of a cohort of 2010 urban and rural men and women aged 30–70 y of age at recruitment in 2005 from the North West Province in South Africa.
Added sugar intake, particularly in rural areas, has increased rapidly in the past 5 years. In rural areas, the proportion of adults who consumed sucrose-sweetened beverages approximately doubled (for men, from 25% to 56%; for women, from 33% to 63%) in the past 5 years.
This cohort showed dramatic increases in added sugars and sucrose-sweetened beverage consumption in both urban and rural areas. Increased consumption was associated with increased noncommunicable disease risk factors. In addition, the study showed that the nutrition transition has reached a remote rural area in South Africa. Urgent action is needed to address these trends.
Am J Clin Nutr. June 2014, vol. 99 no. 6, 1479-1486.