American Toddlers Eat So Much 'Added Sugar' That They Exceed Adult Recommendations

American Toddlers Eat So Much 'Added Sugar' That They Exceed Adult Recommendations

A majority of children begin consuming added sugar even before their first birthday, suggest researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Added sugar consumption for many children begin at a very early age, according to a new study. 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. As for children under the age of 2, it is recommended that they avoid eating foods containing added sugar altogether.

The study found that toddlers 12 to 18 months consumed 5.5 teaspoons per day, and that toddlers 19 to 23 months consumed 7.1 teaspoons. Too much sugar during pregnancy adversely impacts child cognition, while excess sugar intake during adolescence has been associated with weight gain and cardiac risks, which include an increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure.

"Once kids start eating table food, they're often eating the same types of foods that Mom and Dad have in their diet, and other research has demonstrated that adults exceed recommendations for added sugar too", Herrick said. Regardless of the recommendations, most people in the USA eat more than this limit, research shows.

Last Updated: June 10, 2018.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has more on added sugars. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans".

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Federal dietary guidelines don't now include recommendations for that age group.

Among children aged 12-23 months, Herrick said added sugar consumption was highest among non-Hispanic black children and lowest among non-Hispanic white children.

According to the American Heart Association, female adults are recommended to eat no more than 100 calories or 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.

How can people reduce their intake of added sugars? However, parents should always have the goal to give their children less added sugar, say the researchers of the study.

The data revealed that 85% of the children involved in the study ate added sugar on any given day, and the amount they consumed crept up as they aged. Dried fruits are also loaded with sugar - there are 21 teaspoons in one cup of dried fruit alone.

Please note that abstracts presented at Nutrition 2018 were evaluated and selected by a committee of experts but have not generally undergone the same peer review process required for publication in a scientific journal. So, parents might want to consider cutting soft drinks, fruit drinks, and flavored waters out of their toddlers' diets, in addition to snacks and candies, the second major source of added sugars.

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