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High sugar consumption and poor nutrient intake among drug addicts in Oslo, Norway

  • M. Sæland (a1), M. Haugen (a2), F.-L. Eriksen (a3), M. Wandel (a4), A. Smehaugen (a1), T. Böhmer (a5) and A. Oshaug (a1)...


Poor dietary habits among drug addicts represent health hazards. However, very few studies have focused on dietary intake as an independent health risk factor in relation to this group. The objective of the present study was to examine the dietary habits of drug addicts living on the fringes of an affluent society. The study focused on food access, food preferences, intake of energy and nutrients, and related nutrient blood concentrations. The respondent group consisted of 123 male and seventy-two female drug addicts, who participated in a cross-sectional study that included a 24 h dietary recall, blood samples, anthropometrical measurements and a semi-structured interview concerning food access and preferences. Daily energy intake varied from 0 to 37 MJ. Food received from charitable sources and friends/family had a higher nutrient density than food bought by the respondents. Added sugar accounted for 30 % of the energy intake, which was mirrored in biomarkers. Sugar and sugar-sweetened food items were preferred by 61 % of the respondents. Of the respondents, 32 % had a TAG concentration above the reference values, while 35 % had a cholesterol concentration beneath the reference values. An elevated serum Cu concentration indicated inflammation among the respondents. Further research on problems related to the diets of drug addicts should focus on dietary habits and aim to uncover connections that may reinforce inebriation and addiction.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: M. Sæland, fax +47 64849002, email


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