Toddlers In US Eating Too Much Sugar — CDC

Toddlers Consume More 'Added Sugar' Than The Recommended Amount For Adults

Children were also found to consume added sugar before the age of one.

The demographic that ate the most sugar were non-Hispanic black children aged between 12 to 23 months, while white children ate the least.

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. 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.

All sugars are essentially handled the same in the body but sugar found in fruit and milk, for example, is accompanied by fiber and other nutrients.

It's well-known that Americans consume too much sugar. Excessive sugar intake is linked to obesity, cavities, asthma, and risk factors for heart disease.

The new study conducted in Maryland involved over 800 children who were between the ages of 6 and 23 months old. These children took part in the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey or NHANES that took place from 2011 to 2014. In order to evaluate added sugar consumption, the researchers included any calorie-containing sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup but excluded naturally occurring sugars such as fruits.

According to the results, the researchers found that numerous children in the study ate more added sugar than the recommended amount for adults.

Just over 60 percent of those ages 6 to 11 months averaged just under 1 teaspoon of added sugar a day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found, on average, toddlers eat more than seven teaspoons of added sugar a day.

Daily recommended limits for added sugar are 6 teaspoons or less a day for children 2 to 19 years old and for adult women, and 9 teaspoons or less a day for adult men.

The latest nutritional guidelines for the USA, which were updated in 2015 and will be reviewed in 2020, do not give recommendations for children under the age of two.

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

Generally speaking, parents looking for ways to raise healthy children should look to their infants' first years of life as a blank canvas from which healthy lifestyle patterns, including sugar-free diets, can be developed and sustained through adulthood.

But the earlier sugar intake begins, the harder the habit becomes to kick later in life.

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