Toddlers Consume More 'Added Sugar' Than The Recommended Amount For Adults

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 14, 2018

Kirsten Herrick, the lead author of the study and a nutritional epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement that this is the first time the body has looked at how much added sugar children below the age of two eat.

The study found 99 percent of a representative sample of U.S. toddlers age 19-23 months consumed an average of just over 7 teaspoons of added sugar on a given day-more than the amount in a Snicker's® bar. Some 98 percent of toddlers between 12 and 18 months ate foods with added sugar. AHA's guidelines state that kids of this age "should avoid consuming any added sugar, since they need nutrient-rich diets and are developing taste preferences".

Consuming a high amount of sugar is linked to high levels of cavities, asthma, obesity as well as risk of cardiovascular diseases later on life. In fact, in some cases, babies are consuming more added sugar than the maximum amount recommended for adults. But for children ages 2 to 19 and adult women the suggested limit is 6 teaspoons or less.

There is no chemical difference between natural sugars in fruits, vegetables, and milk, and processed sugars. It is the easiest way to supply the energy, however added sugars come with the catch - the "sugar tolerance" will be formed eventually.

For the 6- to 11-month-olds, 61 percent of the sugar in their diet was added sugar.

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

Herrick said the findings could have implications for the upcoming revision of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Energy and protein bars can also contain a lot of sugar, and it's also found in the condiments we add to foods: each tablespoon of ketchup contains one teaspoon of sugar.

No guidelines are given for children under age 2, but the 2020-2025 edition edition is expected to include recommendations.

However, the study has limitations because the added sugar consumption was measured basis the memory of parents of what their kid ate.

The results indicate that 85 percent of infants and toddlers consumed added sugar on a given day. High sugar consumption is also related to high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The current study does not indicate which types of food contributed to children's added sugar intake, though the research team plans to examine sources of added sugar in the future.

The team plans to further investigate the data, including examining trends over time.

"Added sugars" are sugars added as a powder or sucrose syrup. In addition, the study has not been peer-reviewed.

The researchers arrived at this finding after conducting a survey with parents and their children who were between the ages of 6 and 23 months old.

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