Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

U.S. Babies, Toddlers Eat Way Too Much Added Sugar, Study Finds

Samantha Long | 13 June, 2018, 20:29

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

Moreover, the oldest children in the study, between the age of 19 to 23 months, consumed an average of around seven teaspoons of added sugar each day, which is more than the amount of sugar present in a Kit Kat bar, the findings of the study showed.

Eating foods with added sugar can influence a child's food choices later in life. The finding came as a result of a study done on children between the ages of 6 and 23 months old. While it doesn't actually have a chemical difference from natural sugar in fruits, vegetables, and dairy, the added sugar are reportedly more harmful due to its tendency of displacing nutritional components and adding significant calories to the diet.

In the US, at least one in five children ages 6 to 19 years old is obese, according to the CDC.

Children love sugar, but they may be getting fed so much more than a healthy amount, according to a new study. Recommendations by the American Heart Association say children under 2 should avoid any foods with added sugar, especially yogurt, ready-to-eat cereal, and candy.

Eating too much foods containing added sugar has been associated with a number of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and even some cancers.

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The parents of the study participants were asked to note down everything their child ate in a 24-hour period.

"This is the first time we have looked at added sugar consumption among children less than 2 years old", said lead study author Kirsten Herrick, a nutritional epidemiologist at the CDC. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans", she said in a society news release. To measure the consumption of added sugar, the researchers documented foods containing cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and other forms of sugar. These added sugars raise the daily calorie intake of the child.

Herrick said the best way to cut sugar from the diets of children and adults is to "choose foods that you know don't have them, like fresh fruits and vegetables".

About 85 percent of them were found to eat added sugar in a given day. For adult men, the limit is 9 teaspoons or less of added sugar per day.

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

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