American toddlers consume way too much added sugar, says study

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

"This is the first time we have looked at added sugar consumption among children less than 2 years old", lead study author Kirsten Herrick, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nutritional epidemiologist, says in a statement.

But by the time children reached between 1 and 2 years old, nearly all of the sugar those children got was added.

A representative study of toddlers showed that 99% of children aged between 19 to 23 months eat over seven teaspoons of added sugar each day on average.

However, the study's results could be unintentionally biased as it was based on parents' answers, thus, it can't be taken as a 100% conclusive study.

Excessive sugar consumption is one of the most known common origin of obesity, dental degradation.

But that affinity for the sweet stuff starts as early as infancy, with some babies consuming added sugar that exceeds maximum levels recommended for adults, USA researchers report.

Last Updated: June 10, 2018.

The parents of the study participants were asked to note down everything their child ate in a 24-hour period. Other research has shown that both eating too much naturally occurring sugar and processed sugar can change receptors in the brain, increasing cravings for sweet foods.

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

Herrick said the findings could have implications for the upcoming revision of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

In the future, researchers will investigate the specific foods children consume their added sugar.

According to both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association, children under the age of 2 shouldn't consume foods or drinks with added sugars at all. Added sugar consumption was highest among non-Hispanic black children and lowest among non-Hispanic white children in kids aged between 12 and 23 months.

Dr. Herrick said the easiest method of reducing added sugars in one's own and one's children's diets is to choose foods that do not contain added sugars such as fruits and vegetables.

Ready-to-eat cereals, bakery items, sugar-sweetened beverages, yogurt, and candy can be major sources of added sugar. More than half of 6 to 11-month-olds surveyed were given 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 USA government's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

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