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Sugar lntake and Body Weight in Cambodian and Japanese Children


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Because of the tastiness of sugars, it is easy to consume more than an adequate amount. There are many research reports that excess sugar intake contributes to dental decay, obesity, diabetes etc. Continuing economic development in Cambodia has made it easier than before for people to consume sugars in their daily life. Currently, isomerized sugar (a mixture of glucose and fructose) made from starches is commonly used in commercial beverages because of its low price. However, in Cambodia and Japan, sugar composition tables that include not only sucrose but also glucose, fructose, lactose and maltose have not been available. Prior to the present nutrition surveys, we made sugar composition tables for both countries. In this study we tried to estimate the intakes of various sugars by children in Cambodia and Japan and to determine the relationship between intake and body weight. Nutrition surveys of children aged 7, 10 and 13 years old were conducted for 3 nonconsecutive days by the 24 h recall method in 89 Cambodian children living in the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, and 151 Japanese children living in 3 prefectures from north to south. Height and weight of children in Cambodia and Japan were similar until 10 years old but at 13 years old, the Cambodians were shorter and lighter than the Japanese.We could not observe any differences in BMI in either country. The sugar intakes from beverages and snacks were not different among the different gender and age. Thus we combined the mean total sugar intake for Cambodian and Japanese, 28.42±25.28 g and 25.69±16.16 g respectively. These were within the range of WHO recommendations (less than 10% of energy intakes). Cambodian children consumed about 46% of sugars from commercial beverages and snacks and Japanese children 26%. This means that for Cambodians half of the sugars came from isomerized sugar made from starches. Relationships between sugar intake and body weight were not observed in both countries. In conclusion, the Cambodian children consumed about 46% of sugar from glucose and fructose (probably in the form of isomerized sugar), while the Japanese children took 26% ; however, the intakes in both countries met the WHO recommendation and there was no relationship to body weight.



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