Thursday, 25 April, 2019


Babies, toddlers in US eat way too much added sugar, study finds

Babies, toddlers in US eat way too much added sugar, study finds Babies, toddlers in US eat way too much added sugar, study finds
Patty Aguilar | 14 June, 2018, 05:44

That rose to 98 percent among those babies 12 to 18 months, who averaged 5.5 teaspoons of added sugar a day.

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. 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.

But parents have not been heeding that advice, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Under current recommendations, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) state anyone 2 and older should not be getting more than 10 percent of daily calories from added sugar.

Ready-to-eat cereals, bakery items, sugar-sweetened beverages, yogurt, and candy can be major sources of added sugar.

Eating too much foods containing added sugar has been associated with a number of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and even some cancers.

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.

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

Eating foods with these extra sugars as a young child can influence diet choices later in life, researchers said.

The study is limited in some ways because sugar consumption was measured based on parent's memory of what their child ate during a short period of time. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans", she said in a society news release.

Consumption of added sugar among Americans has been a widely discussed subject. However, added sugars are considered more damaging to health because they displace nutritional components of foods and contribute significantly to caloric intake. 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. Children were also found to consume added sugar before the age of one.

But most Americans exceed those limits.

Researchers at the CDC wanted to study the sugar intake of kids under two.

Federal dietary guidelines don't now include recommendations for that age group. It is the easiest way to supply the energy, however added sugars come with the catch - the "sugar tolerance" will be formed eventually.

"The AHA recommends reading ingredients" nutritional labels carefully, since "sugar has many other names".

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