US babies, toddlers consume sugar well beyond recommended levels

14 Juin, 2018, 03:55 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • US babies, toddlers consume sugar well beyond recommended levels

The Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 reveals that sugar-sweetened beverages make up 39 percent of added sugars in an average American's diet.

Children love sugar, but they may be getting fed so much more than a healthy amount, according to a new study.

The added sugar included cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and honey. The problem will be even bigger as they will get older, a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control concludes. But for children ages 2 to 19 and adult women the suggested limit is 6 teaspoons or less. At least 60 percent of the children were consuming added sugars before their first birthday, the study found.

Added sugar is sugar that's put in food during preparation or processing.

The study comes at a time when one in six children and adolescents in the US are obese.

There is no chemical difference between natural sugars in fruits, vegetables, and milk, and processed sugars.

But the earlier sugar intake begins, the harder the habit becomes to kick later in life.

Consuming foods with high amounts of added sugar throughout childhood is linked to increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Those who were between 19 and 23 months were found to consume an average of more than 7 teaspoons of added sugar on a given day.

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The study is limited in some ways because sugar consumption was measured based on parent's memory of what their child ate during a short period of time. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans".

Consumption of added sugar among Americans has been a widely discussed subject.

For 6- to 11-month-olds, 61 percent of sugar in their diet was added sugar and that number increased with age.

Despite these recommendations, however, a previous study shows that the majority of Americans consume more than what they're supposed to.

The results indicate that 85 percent of infants and toddlers consumed added sugar on a given day.

The researchers say that at present there are no specific recommendations for children under the age of 2 years in the U.S. government's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

"Once kids start eating table food, they're often eating the same types of foods that Mom and Dad have in their diet", Herrick said in a statement.

"The AHA recommends reading ingredients" nutritional labels carefully, since "sugar has many other names". So, parents might want to consider cutting soft drinks, fruit drinks, and flavored waters out of their toddlers' diets, in addition to snacks and candies, the second major source of added sugars. It is the easiest way to supply the energy, however added sugars come with the catch - the "sugar tolerance" will be formed eventually.

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