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

14 June 2018

And yet new data presented this week (June 10) at the American Society for Nutrition's annual meeting show that American infants are consuming excessive amounts of added sugar in their diets, much more than the amounts now recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) and other medical organizations.

Researchers cataloged food items that contained extra cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and other sugars.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued by the US government, recommends children between 2 and 19, limit added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons per day. This exceeded the daily recommended limit (for added sugar) which is 6 teaspoons or less for children aged 2 to 19 as well as adult women.

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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. Overweight children who continue to consume added sugar are more likely to become insulin resistant, a precursor to diabetes. "Our results show that added sugar consumption begins early in life and exceeds current recommendations". CDC report warns that toddlers are facing the highest level of added sugars in their diets - and it will pay off dearly during the life of the generation to come.

Ninety-nine percent of the toddlers were eating more than seven teaspoons of added sugar a day, which is more than that found in a Snickers bar.

The parents of the study participants were asked to note down everything their child ate in a 24-hour period. "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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About 85 percent of them were found to eat added sugar in a given day. With age the sugar consumption rose. For the 6- to 11-month-olds, 61 percent of the sugar in their diet was added sugar.

Despite these recommendations, however, a previous study shows that the majority of Americans consume more than what they're supposed to.

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. Men, on the other hand, need 150 calories or about 9 or less teaspoons per day. However, added sugars are considered more damaging to health because they displace nutritional components of foods and contribute significantly to caloric intake. Dried fruits are also loaded with sugar - there are 21 teaspoons in one cup of dried fruit alone. But by the time children reached between 1 and 2 years old, that amount was even higher: 98 to 99 percent of the sugar those children ate was added.

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How can people reduce their intake of added sugars?

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