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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión On-line ISSN 1699-5198versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611


GIL, Ángel; URRIALDE, Rafael; VARELA-MOREIRAS, Gregorio  y  142 CIENTIFICOS ADHERIDOS A ESTA PUBLICACION CIENTIFICA*. Position statement on the definition of added sugars and their declaration on the labelling of foodstuffs in Spain. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2021, vol.38, n.3, pp.645-660.  Epub 12-Jul-2021. ISSN 1699-5198.


there is currently great concern about the sugar content of food and beverages as excessive consumption is associated with a higher prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases. In addition, there is a great deal of confusion both in published scientific data and in media reports about various concepts such as free sugars, intrinsic or endogenous sugars, and sugars added to food, as well as the type of monosaccharides and disaccharides that are part of them. The term "free sugars" refers to public health aspects whereas the term "added sugars" relates to the nutritional information included in the labelling covered by Regulation 1169/2011 as applicable to food information provided to the consumer.

Material and methods:

an analysis of the legislation in force in the European Union and Spain, as well as in the United States and Mexico, together with the position statements of the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN), as well as their Scientific Committees on the definition and declaration of total sugars, free sugars, and added sugars.


added sugars are declared on the label in countries such as the United States and Mexico. In the case of the United States, there is a proposal to modify the percentage they should contribute to the diet from 10 % to 6 %. In the case of the European Union, only the reference intake for carbohydrates is established: 45-65 %, as has already been done by the Scientific Committee of AESAN. Only in the case of the ANIBES study is there an approximate figure for the consumption of added sugars by the Spanish population: 7.3 %.


reference intakes for added sugars should be established and declared in the information provided on food product labels in order to work with reliable data in the food composition tables, and to assess their real intake by the Spanish population, and thus implement public health measures to reduce their intake in all food products containing them.

Palabras clave : Sugars; Free sugars; Added sugars; Labelling.

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