Most US adults consume more than 10% of their total daily calories from sugar added in processing or preparing food, which is taking a considerable toll on their hearts, according to a study based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1988 to 2010 (Yang Q et al. JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563 [published online February 3, 2014]).
In the study population of 31 147 adults, those who consumed 17% to 21% of their calories as added sugar had a 38% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with those who consumed 8% of their calories as sugar. Among adults who consumed 25% or more of their calories as sugar—10% of adults—the relative risk was nearly tripled. Even after the researchers adjusted for CVD risk factors, such as high blood pressure and elevated total serum cholesterol, sugar consumption was significantly associated with CVD mortality.