Significant increase in the consumption of added sugar among young people
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has looked at whether young people changed their diets during the pandemic.
There is a clear increase in the proportion of young people with excessive intake of added sugar, according to the survey conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) (link in Norwegian).
The national dietary survey among young people shows, among other things, that adolescents aged 13 have too low an intake of vegetables, fruit, and berries, and that many have too high an intake of added sugar.
The average proportion of young people with a high estimated intake of added sugar (≥10 per cent of energy intake) increased from 34 per cent in March 2020 to 40 per cent in the spring of 2022.
Overall, there were relatively insignificant changes in the diets of Norwegian adolescents from 2018 to 2022. The significant increase in added sugar was the only change.
The report does not provide a basis for concluding whether the strict pandemic measures may be the cause of increased consumption of sugary food and drinks among Norwegian adolescents during the relevant period. The measures coincide with a general increase in the use of energy drinks among children and young people.
In the entire sample, 23 per cent of the girls and 38 per cent of the boys reported drinking energy drinks.
Sciencenorway has previously written about how sales of candy and chocolate increased substantially during the pandemic. One study found that 63 per cent of women and 42 per cent of men used food to deal with their feelings during the lockdown in March and April 2020.
Translated by Alette Bjordal Gjellesvik.