Sugar is a nutrient and provides 4 kcal / 17 kJ of energy per gram. However, sugar is rarely eaten on its own. As in addition to its sweet taste, sugar contributes to the colour, flavour and texture of food, adding sugar to foods can improve their taste and palatability, thereby increasing the range of foods that people can eat.

Research does not suggest that a higher consumption of sugars necessarily leads to a lower intake of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Total energy intake as well as the overall balance of the diet is the main predictor of micronutrient intake.