Purpose: In order to collect information on food intake, lifestyle and health status of the Italian population, a random cohort of about 2000 adults was selected in collaboration with the Italian society of general practitioners’ network (SIMG).
Methods: Cohort subjects underwent a full clinical evaluation, by their family doctor, who also collected anthropometric data and information on the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors; they were also administered diary forms developed to assess dietary use of simple sugars, of sugar-containing food and of selected food items.
Results: Data obtained indicate that the consumption of simple sugars (either added or as natural part of food) by the Italian adult population is, on average, not high (65 and 67 g/day, among women and men, respectively) and mostly derived from food items such as fruit, milk and yogurt. In addition, no correlations were found, in this low-sugar-consuming cohort, between sugar intake and weight, body mass index and waist circumference.
Conclusions: Intakes of simple sugars in the LIZ cohort are not associated with weight, BMI and waist circumference. Prospective data, from cohorts like the LIZ one, might shed further light on the contribution of simple sugar intake to health in countries like Italy.