Urinary sucrose and fructose to validate self-reported sugar intake in children and adolescents: results from the I.Family study

on behalf of the I.Family Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Excessive consumption of free sugar increases the risk for non-communicable diseases where a proper assessment of this intake is necessary to correctly estimate its association with certain diseases. Urinary sugars have been suggested as objective biomarkers for total and free sugar intake in adults but less is known about this marker in children and adolescents. Therefore, the aim of this exploratory study is to evaluate the relative validity of self-reported intake using urinary sugars in children and adolescents. Methods: The study was conducted in a convenience subsample of 228 participants aged 5–18 years of the I.Family study that investigates the determinants of food choices, lifestyle and health in European families. Total, free and intrinsic sugar intake (g/day) and sugar density (g/1000 kcal) were assessed using 24-h dietary recalls (24HDRs). Urinary sucrose (USUC) and urinary fructose (UFRU) were measured in morning urine samples and corrected for creatinine excretion (USUC/Cr, UFRU/Cr). Correlation coefficients, the method of triads and linear regression models were used to investigate the relationship between intake of different types of sugar and urinary sugars. Results: The correlation between usual sugar density calculated from multiple 24HDRs and the sum of USUC/Cr and UFRU/Cr (USUC/Cr + UFRU/Cr) was 0.38 (p < 0.001). The method of triads revealed validity coefficients for the 24HDR from 0.64 to 0.87. Linear regression models showed statistically significant positive associations between USUC/Cr + UFRU/Cr and the intake of total and free sugar. Conclusions: These findings support the relative validity of total and free sugar intake assessed by self-reported 24HDRs in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1247-1258
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019


  • 24-h dietary recall
  • Dietary sugar
  • Sugar biomarker
  • Urine sugars
  • Validity coefficient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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