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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


GOMEZ-SALAS, Georgina et al. Added sugar intake in a Costa Rican urban population: Latin American nutrition and health study ELANS-Costa Rica. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2019, vol.61, n.3, pp.111-118. ISSN 0001-6002.


High consumption of added sugars has been associated with a greater risk of chronic diseases, appearance of caries and weight gain, which implies a lower quality of life for the population and an increase in costs for the health system. The aim of this study was to evaluate the intake of added sugar and its related factors in urban Costa Rican population.

Methods :

This was a cross-sectional study conducted in a representative sample of the Costa Rican urban population (798 participants aged between 15 and 65 years). To determine the consumption of added sugars, two 24 hours recalls were conducted, in non-consecutive days. Sociodemographic variables, quantity of food consumed, place and time of consumption were collected.


The consumption of added sugars represents 14.7% of total energy intake for the Costa Rican urban population. This consumption is higher among women and younger people. The greater amount of added sugars was consumed in the home and during snacks. Sugar-sweetened beverages were the main source of this added sugar in the Costa Rican diet and soft drinks were the most important source in the highest consumption quintile.


The intake of energy obtained from the added sugars exceeds the máximum recommendation established by the World Health Organization, therefore it is necessary to establish public policies aimed at reducing consumption and modifying behaviors associated with the preparation and intake of food source of added sugars.

Keywords : Sugars; food intake; obesity; Costa Rica.

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