Association between urinary biomarkers of total sugars intake and measures of obesity in a cross-sectional study

Rachel Campbell, Natasha Tasevska, Kim G. Jackson, Virag Sagi-Kiss, Nick di Paolo, Jennifer S. Mindell, Susan J. Lister, Kay Tee Khaw, Gunter G.C. Kuhnle

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Scopus citations


    Obesity is an important modifiable risk factor for chronic diseases. While there is increasing focus on the role of dietary sugars, there remains a paucity of data establishing the association between sugar intake and obesity in the general public. The objective of this study was to investigate associations of estimated sugar intake with odds for obesity in a representative sample of English adults. We used data from 434 participants of the 2005 Health Survey of England. Biomarkers for total sugar intake were measured in 24 h urine samples and used to estimate intake. Linear and logistic regression analyses were used to investigate associations between biomarker-based estimated intake and measures of obesity (body mass intake (BMI), waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio) and obesity risk, respectively. Estimated sugar intake was significantly associated with BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio; these associations remained significant after adjustment for estimated protein intake as a marker of non-sugar energy intake. Estimated sugar intake was also associated with increased odds for obesity based on BMI (OR 1.02; 95%CI 1.00–1.04 per 10g), waist-circumference (1.03; 1.01–1.05) and waist-to-hip ratio (1.04; 1.02–1.06); all OR estimates remained significant after adjusting for estimated protein intake. Our results strongly support positive associations between total sugar intake, measures of obesity and likelihood of being obese. It is the first time that such an association has been shown in a nationally-representative sample of the general population using a validated biomarker. This biomarker could be used to monitor the efficacy of public health interventions to reduce sugar intake.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere0179508
    JournalPloS one
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - Jul 2017

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


    Dive into the research topics of 'Association between urinary biomarkers of total sugars intake and measures of obesity in a cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this