The U.S Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise that no more than 5–15% of calories stem from solid fats and added sugars combined.
Interestingly, the majority of added sugars were obtained from foods in comparison to beverages. However, previous research has shown that when foods and beverages are separated into specific food or beverage items, regular sodas are the leading food source of added sugars, at least for adults ages 18–54. Results show that among adults, one-third of calories from added sugars (33%) came from beverages. In children and adolescents, 40% of calories from added sugars came from beverages. Regardless of whether the added sugars are from food or beverages, the majority of the calories from added sugars as well as total calories are consumed at home by both adults and youth.
The report found that the number of calories derived from added sugar tended to decline with advancing age among both men and women. Men ages 20–39 consumed 14.1% of their calories from added sugars, men ages 40–59 consumed 12.5% of their calories from added sugars, and men ages 60+ consumed 10.7% of their calories from added sugars. Women ages 20–39 consumed 14.5% of their calories from added sugars, women ages 40–59 consumed 12.9% of their calories from added sugars, and women ages 60+ consumed 11.2% of their calories from added sugars.
The researchers also found that men consumed more added sugar than women: 335 calories per day versus 239, respectively. There were also differences among racial and ethnic groups. For example, African American adults consumed more calories from added sugar than did Caucasian or Hispanic adults.