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

A recent study by the CDC said many young children are getting too much added sugar

Among those age 12-18 months, 98 percent consumed added sugar, averaging 5.5 teaspoons.

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.

Even if the food sounds healthy, it can contain a large dose of added sugar. By 19-23 months, 99 percent of children consumed an average of just over 7 teaspoons of added sugar on a given day. But that affinity for the sweet stuff starts as early as infancy, with some babies consuming added sugar that exceeds maximum levels recommended for adults, US researchers report.

According to the American Heart Association, the major sources of added sugars for Americans are regular soft drinks, sugars, cookies, candies, ice creams, and cakes. These added sugars raise the daily calorie intake of the child. The team analysed the amount of sugar consumed by checking on amounts of cane sugar, honey, other forms of sugar such as high-fructose corn syrup etc. Sugars found naturally in fruits, vegetables and milk were not included in the analysis as were artificial zero-calorie sweeteners. The earlier patient is introduces to high sugar consumption, the heavier the consequences he or she will face during the life.

The CDC says consuming a high-sugar diet could lead to unhealthy food choices later in life.

A representative study of toddlers showed that 99% of children aged between 19 to 23 months eat over seven teaspoons of added sugar each day on average.

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Americans are advised to keep added sugars to less than 10 percent of their total diet.

"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.

Parents can expect recommendations for young children to be in place for the 2020-2025 DGA guidelines, but for now, less added sugar should always be the goal.

For the study, parents of 800 children between the age of 6 to 23 months were asked how much added sugar their children consumed in a time period of 24 hours. As for children under the age of 2, it is recommended that they avoid eating foods containing added sugar altogether.

But most Americans exceed those limits.

However, the study has limitations because the added sugar consumption was measured basis the memory of parents of what their kid ate. It is the easiest way to supply the energy, however added sugars come with the catch - the "sugar tolerance" will be formed eventually.

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