Health Care

US Toddlers Are Getting Too Much Sugar Too Early

US Toddlers Are Getting Too Much Sugar Too Early”

The results revealed that 85 percent of the toddlers and infants studied were consuming added sugars in their daily diet.

"This is the first time we have looked at added sugar consumption among children less than 2 years old", said lead study author Kirsten Herrick, a nutritional epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Besides those ending in "ose, ' such as maltose or sucrose", the guidelines say, "other names for sugar include high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, syrup, honey or fruit juice concentrates".

The CDC just recently launched a website that gives parents advice on diets that limit certain foods and drinks for toddlers and babies.

It turns out, the average toddler's intake of added sugar even exceeds the recommended amount of added sugar for adults.

The body processes sugars from foods such as fruits and chocolates in the same way-but the processed sugars in products like the latter are believed to be worse for our health. Further studies are planned that will better evaluate the specific sources of added sugar children are eating. They do not include naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruits, vegetables, and milk. "Our results show that added sugar consumption begins early in life and exceeds current recommendations".

Consuming foods with high amounts of added sugar throughout childhood is linked to increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

And that added sugar added up: the oldest toddlers in the study, aged between 19 to 23 months, averaged about seven teaspoons of added sugar per day, more than the amount in a Kit Kat bar, the study found.

In the survey, researchers instructed parents to write down what they fed their children in a 24-hour period.

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

This tracks (pdf) with an increase in United States sugar intake broadly: In 1970, Americans ate 123 pounds of sugar per year, and today, the average American consumes nearly 152 pounds of sugar per year. However, added sugars are considered less healthy because they change nutritional components of food and create additional calories. Added sugar consumption rose with age.

But most Americans exceed those limits.

Another 60 percent of the children were getting extra sugar in their diet before they were a year old.

The latest nutritional guidelines for the US, which were updated in 2015 and will be reviewed in 2020, do not give recommendations for children under the age of two. At present the guidelines recommend using 6 teaspoons or less daily in individuals aged between 2 to 19 years and adult women and less than 9 teaspoons for adult men per day.

How can people reduce their intake of added sugars?



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