Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

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

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

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

Another serious situation shapes up in the USA, as a recent study carried out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) revealed an increasingly higher added sugar consumption in toddlers.

Even if the food sounds healthy, it can contain a large dose of added sugar. The recommended daily limit of sugar for children age 2-19 is six teaspoons or less per day, and nine teaspoons or less for adults.

According to the results, the researchers found that numerous children in the study ate more added sugar than the recommended amount for adults. Overweight children who continue to consume added sugar are more likely to become insulin resistant, a precursor to diabetes.

There is no chemical difference between sugars that are found naturally in fruits, vegetables and milk and sugars that are added to food products during processing or preparation.

Eating foods with these extra sugars as a young child can influence diet choices later in life, researchers said. Toddlers from 19 to 23 months are getting 7 teaspoons of added sugar a day - from cookies, drinks and ready-to-eat cereals.

Parents were asked to record every item their child consumed during a 24-hour period. 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. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans", she said in a society news release.

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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.

Consumption of added sugar among Americans has been a widely discussed subject. While around 60 percent of babies between ages 6 months to 11 months consumed an average of 1 teaspoon of added sugars, 98 percent of children aged between 12 to 18 months were consuming an average of 5.5 teaspoons of sugar a day.

But most Americans exceed those limits. By 19 to 23 months, 99% of children ate an average of over seven teaspoons of added sugar on a given day.

"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", said Herrick.

The researchers say that at present there are no specific recommendations for children under the age of 2 years in the U.S. government's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Other studies have suggested added sugar consumption among American children has declined over the years.

However, the study has limitations because the added sugar consumption was measured basis the memory of parents of what their kid ate.

How can people reduce their intake of added sugars?

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