Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

CDC: Toddlers In US Eating Too Much Sugar

CDC: Toddlers In US Eating Too Much Sugar CDC: Toddlers In US Eating Too Much Sugar
Samantha Long | 14 June, 2018, 03:57

Americans love affair with sugar starts at a very early age as many toddlers are consuming added sugar at levels that exceed the maximum amount recommended for adults, a new study has found.

From run-of-the-mill granulated white sugar to high fructose corn syrup, dietitian Dana Angelo White explained how "these sweeteners are a pure source of carbohydrate and have about 15 calories per teaspoon".

But parents have not been heeding that advice, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to American Heart Association, the children who are below 2 years old should avoid consuming food items which consist of added sugar, including baked goods, sugary drinks desserts, ready to eat cereals, candy and yogurt. Herrick and her team found that the amount of added sugar increased along with a child's age.

"The easiest way to reduce added sugars in your own diet and your kids' diet is to choose foods that you know don't have them, like fresh fruits and vegetables", said Herrick. These added sugars raise the daily calorie intake of the child.

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

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Researchers warn that children this young consuming this amount of sugar could be at risk of obesity, asthma and also heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol later in life.

The research, presented at the annual American Society for Nutrition meeting during Nutrition 2018, revealed that from a sample of toddlers 19 to 23 months old in the United States, 99 percent ate an average of a little more than seven teaspoons of added sugar every day.

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

This tracks (pdf) with an increase in U.S. sugar intake broadly: In 1970, Americans ate 123 pounds of sugar per year, and today, the average American consumes nearly 152 pounds of sugar per year. At present the guidelines recommend using 6 teaspoons or less daily in individuals aged between 2 to 19 years and adult women and less than 9 teaspoons for adult men per day. However, added sugars are considered more damaging to health because they displace nutritional components of foods and contribute significantly to caloric intake. While 60 percent of those between the ages of 6 and 11 months old were found to eat added sugar on a given day. A promising strategy for reducing kids' sugar intake is to get them used to healthy eating before they turn two.

No guidelines are given for children under age 2, but the 2020-2025 edition edition is expected to include recommendations. Ketchup and other condiments are often loaded with added sugar as well.

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