Introduction: Nationally, rural residents have high consumption of added sugars, yet the top sources have not been explored. Characterizing added-sugar intake in high sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumers in rural areas is an important step to help inform interventions and policies.

Purpose: The objective of this study was to explore the top food and beverage sources of added sugar and to examine variations by sociodemographic characteristics.

Methods: This cross-sectional study analyzed data from a randomized-controlled trial to reduce SSB in eight rural Appalachian counties. Data were obtained from baseline demographic surveys and three 24-hour dietary recalls. Dietary analyses included deriving AS grams and percentage of total energy intake from added sugar from individual food categories.

Results: This study had 301 participants, of which 93% were White (non-Hispanic), 81% were female, 49% were aged 35 to 54 years, 43% had an income of ≤$14,000, 33% had low health literacy, and 32% had < college education. Males and those with an income of ≤$14,000 had significantly higher consumption of added sugar. Added sugar contributed to 21% of total energy intake. The top source of added sugar was soda. SSB contributed to 66% of added sugar and 14% of total energy intake. Within SSB, soda contributed to 40% of added sugar, and 8% of total energy intake. Cola and citrus flavored drinks were the main varieties consumed.

Implications: Study findings can be used to adapt evidence-based interventions to reflect commonly consumed food and beverages and help inform food- and beverage-based dietary guidelines and policies specific to rural populations.




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Recommended Citation

Yuhas M, Hedrick V, Zoellner J. Consumption of Added Sugars by Rural Residents of Southwest Virginia. J Appalach Health 2020;2(3):53–68. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13023/jah.0203.07