Study Shows Average Canadian Consumes Half their Recommended Daily Sugar
Intake at Breakfast
TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Canadians consume, on average, more than six
teaspoons of added sugar in the morning, which is half the World Health
Organization's daily maximum estimate of 12 teaspoons a day(1). The results
come from a national survey commissioned by SPLENDA(R) Brand Sweetener that
looked into Canadians' morning eating habits and the potential impact on their
overall health and well-being.
Sugar consumption proved to be consistent from coast to coast and across
age and gender lines with the significant exception of Québec, where the
typical morning sugar intake was a whopping 11.8 teaspoons, nearly double the
national average. In Quebec, nearly 40 per cent of respondents fell into the
highest consumption category compared to only 22 per cent in Ontario, the
province with the lowest sugar intake.
"I am surprised by the results of this survey and give most Canadians a
failing grade when it comes to sugar intake at breakfast. For optimal health,
we should have no more than one or two added teaspoons of sugar at breakfast,
at most" says Cara Rosenbloom, registered dietitian. "What we consume at
breakfast sets up our energy levels for the entire day. It impacts our
concentration on the job and affects our food choices later in the day. This
survey tells me Canadians are setting themselves up for a number of issues
since many of their breakfast calories come from sugar."
The survey found that people who consumed high or very high levels of
sugar in the morning are more likely to: have afternoon sugar cravings, strong
cravings for carbohydrates and seek out sweets after dinner; and have less
energy when they wake up in the morning when compared to Canadians who claimed
a lower sugar intake.
Morning buzz leads to afternoon bust
Canada is a nation of coffee fans with nearly 60 per cent of respondents
enjoying at least one morning cup of joe. On average, Canadians coffee
drinkers add 1.5 teaspoons of sugar to every cup and have nearly two cups by
10 a.m. and almost two and a half by noon. That means the average Canadian
coffee drinker consumes an extra three to four teaspoons of added sugar every
"Keep in mind that while a teaspoon of sugar may contain only 15
calories, having an extra four teaspoons of sugar a day can add up to more
than six pounds in a year," says Rosenbloom. "It's easy for little things to
make a big impact if you lose track."
Tea drinkers aren't safe from sugar's sweet grip, actually adding more
sugar per cup (1.7 teaspoons) than coffee drinkers. The biggest offenders are
latte lovers who add 2.3 to 2.5 teaspoons per beverage. With nearly two lattes
consumed before noon that means the average latte drinker is taking in four to
five teaspoons of sugar from his or her caffeine boost.
"If a person consumes extra calories from added sugar in the morning,
evidence shows they are more likely to take in more calories in their total
daily consumption," said Sharon Zeiler, Senior Manager, Nutrition Initiatives
and Strategies, Canadian Diabetes Association. "Excess calorie consumption and
the associated weight gain are some of the risk factors for developing Type 2
Sugar a key component of many of Canada's favourite breakfast foods
Of the 89 per cent of respondents that eat breakfast, nearly 94 per cent
claim to do so regularly and 8 out of 10 said they eat it every day. Most
people enjoy their breakfast at home (80 per cent) with only seven per cent of
respondents claiming to eat breakfast either on the way to, or at, work.
The most popular breakfast choice for Canadians is toast which, on its
own, is not high in simple sugar. However, toast is regularly knocked into the
excess sugar category with the frequent addition of the popular combination of
peanut butter and jam, adding an extra 2.5 teaspoons of sugar.
Bagel-lovers (16 per cent) are more likely to opt for low-sugar additions
like butter and cream cheese, but what they may not realize is that the
average bagel surprisingly contains almost two teaspoons of added sugar. And,
with 44 per cent of bagel eaters adding peanut butter and jam, they are in
fact consuming the same amount of sugar found in the average doughnut or
Yogurt, perceived by many to be a healthy meal option, is the breakfast
choice of one in five Canadians and one in four female respondents. And while
plain yogurt packs a very modest sugar punch, most yogurt eaters opt for the
high-sugar fruit bottom (48 per cent) and flavoured (38 per cent) varieties
which can contain as much as six teaspoons of sugar in a single serving.
Simple substitutions are the solution
"Starting the day off with a healthy breakfast that also satisfies the
taste buds is all about making the right choices, which include foods that are
high in fibre and protein, and substituting high sugar options for lower sugar
choices," says Rosenbloom. "Enjoy whole grain toast with a small amount of
peanut or almond butter and add a low/no-sugar, all-fruit spread instead of
jam. Opt for a plain yogurt and add fresh fruit and cereal with less than four
grams of sugar per serving. If you have a sweet tooth, make your own
breakfasts, like muffins, smoothies and oatmeal, using a low-calorie sweetener
"SPLENDA is unique in the world of low-calorie sweeteners because, unlike
many other sweeteners, you can also cook and bake with SPLENDA," adds
Rosenbloom. SPLENDA has the great taste of sugar and is suitable for the whole
family. With eighty-one per cent of Canadians enjoying their breakfasts at
home, SPLENDA has created a wide selection of delicious, lower sugar and, most
importantly, easy-to-make recipes that can be found on www.splenda.ca.
SPLENDA(R) Brand Sweetener is made with sucralose, a low-calorie
sweetener that is made from sugar, tastes like sugar but it's not sugar. It
has an outstanding safety profile and is a good sugar alternative for the
whole family. It does not contain aspartame.
Over the past 20 years, more than 100 studies have been conducted to
support the safety of sucralose. Today, millions of people around the world
safely enjoy more than 4,000 foods and beverages sweetened with sucralose.
SPLENDA provides a good sugar-alternative for a healthy lifestyle without
SPLENDA Brand Sweetener is owned and marketed by McNeil Consumer
Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson Inc. McNeil Consumer Healthcare
markets a broad range of well-known and trusted healthcare products, including
products in the adult and pediatric pain relief, allergy, gastro-intestinal,
nicotine-replacement and sugar substitute categories.
About the Survey
- An online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing between December
9th and 15th, 2008.
- With a national sample of 1,522 respondents aged 18+, results can be
considered accurate to within +/- 2.5 per cent.
(1) Based on an average 2,000 calorie daily diet and the World Health
Organization's statute of having no more than 6-10% of one's daily
caloric intake come from added sugar
For further information:
For further information: Cara Rosenbloom is available for interviews.
For more information and to arrange an interview, please contact: Valerie
Mendonca, Weber Shandwick Worldwide, (416) 642-7959,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Rebecca Webster, Weber Shandwick Worldwide,
(416) 642-7975, email@example.com