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Global trends in added sugars and non-nutritive sweetener use in the packaged food supply: Drivers and implications for public health

Version 3 2024-06-14, 07:58
Version 2 2024-05-31, 03:34
Version 1 2023-02-09, 04:08
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-14, 07:58 authored by Cherie RussellCherie Russell, P Baker, Carley GrimesCarley Grimes, R Lindberg, Mark LawrenceMark Lawrence
Abstract Objective: The health implications of excessive added sugar intakes have led to national policy actions to limit their consumption. Subsequently, non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) may be used to maintain product sweetness. We aimed to assess trends in quantities of added sugars and NNS sold in packaged food and beverages worldwide, and the association between these trends and the number of national policy actions across regions to reduce added sugar consumption. Design: (i) Longitudinal analysis of Euromonitor sales data (2007–2019) to assess the quantity of added sugars (kg) and NNS (g) sold in packaged foods and beverages globally, across regions, and across country income categories; (ii) policy-mapping of policy actions targeting added sugar consumption globally from the NOURISHING database; and (iii) Spearman’s correlations to assess the association between national policy actions across regions and changes in added sugar/NNS sales. Setting: Worldwide. Participants: Not applicable. Results: Per capita volumes of NNS from beverage sales increased globally (36 %). Added sugars from beverage sales decreased in high-income countries (22 %) but increased in upper-middle-income countries (UMIC) and lower-middle-income countries (LMIC) (13–40 %). Added sugars from packaged food sales increased globally (9 %). Regions with more policy actions had a significant increase in NNS quantities from beverage sales (r = 0·68, P = 0·04). The sweetness of the packaged food supply (the sweetness of each NNS and added sugar, relative to sucrose, multiplied by sales volume) increased over time. Conclusions: The increasing use of NNS to sweeten beverages globally, and in packaged food in UMIC and LMIC, may have health and dietary implications in the future. Their use as a substitute for added sugar should be considered in public health nutrition policymaking.



Public Health Nutrition



Article number

PII S1368980022001598




Cambridge, Eng.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal




Cambridge University Press