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techkenyot.com October 17, 2018


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

14 June 2018, 03:57 | Silvia Roy

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

Added Sugar Consumption In Toddlers Is On The Rise In The US

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. They found that 99 percent of them consumed more than 7 teaspoons of added sugar on an average day - about the same as a full-sized candy bar.

But by the time children reached between 1 and 2 years old, nearly all of the sugar those children got was added. 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. Herrick and her team found that the amount of added sugar increased along with a child's age.

Those aged between two to 19 years old as well as adult women should not eat more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day, rising to nine for men.

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But researchers have known for a long time that children should be getting their daily sugar from vegetables and fruits, not from added sugar, which contributes nothing but calories. However, added sugars are considered less healthy because they change nutritional components of food and create additional calories.

What can parents do to reduce their kids' sugar intake?

Among those age 12-18 months, 98 percent consumed added sugar, averaging 5.5 teaspoons. The measured amount of extra sugar reportedly consumed by the children in the study was based entirely on the parent's memory.

Despite these recommendations, however, a previous study shows that the majority of Americans consume more than what they're supposed to. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans".

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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. 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.

The research team also plans to examine the specific sources of added sugar young children are consuming in the future. Factoring in added sugar taken with coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, the number gets bumped up to 47 percent.

The researchers say that at present there are no specific recommendations for children under the age of 2 years in the United States government's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). As such, the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available.

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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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