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

Too sweet

A new study shows American toddlers are getting too much sugar. Ninety-nine percent of toddlers ages 19-23 months took in an average of 7 teaspoons of added sugar on a given day. The 2015 DGA Advisory Committee did propose that all Americans cut their intake of solid fats and added sugars as an effective strategy to pare calories and focus more on foods that contribute to a nutrient-rich diet.

According to the results, the researchers found that numerous children in the study ate more added sugar than the recommended amount for adults.

Researchers found that many children under the age of 2 in the United States are eating more added sugar than the recommended amount for adults. The researchers explain that these kids could also be at risk of making bad food choices later in life.

But by the time children reached between 1 and 2 years old, nearly all of the sugar those children got was added. Previous research suggests most Americans exceed those limits. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans".

Herrick will present the research at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting during Nutrition 2018, held June 9-12, 2018 in Boston. However, added sugars are considered less healthy because they change nutritional components of food and create additional calories.

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Parents of 800 children aged 6 to 23 months were questioned on what their child's "added sugar" consumption was in a 24-hour period. They are usually found in foods that do not contain natural fibres which are beneficial for health. The finding came as a result of a study done on children between the ages of 6 and 23 months old. The measured amount of extra sugar reportedly consumed by the children in the study was based entirely on the parent's memory.

The body processes all types of sugars in the same way, but those added to food are believed to be more harmful. Among those age 12-18 months, 98 percent consumed added sugar, averaging 5.5 teaspoons. But sugar consumption among toddlers was even worse.

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. These differences were not seen in the younger age group.

The 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that sweetened beverages are the major source of added sugars in typical U.S. diets-in fact, they account for 47% of all added sugars consumed by Americans. By 19 to 23 months, 99% of children ate an average of over seven teaspoons of added sugar on a given day.

According to Herrick most adults are exceeding the recommended limits of sugar intake and this is reflected in the children of the household as well.

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