Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Toddlers could be consuming more sugar than recommended for adults, study finds

Added Sugar Consumption In Toddlers Is On The Rise In The US Toddlers could be consuming more sugar than recommended for adults, study finds
Melissa Porter | 14 June, 2018, 03:57

Another serious situation shapes up in the United States, as a recent study carried out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) revealed an increasingly higher added sugar consumption in toddlers. 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. Artificial sweeteners with zero calories and natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables and milk weren't included. As for children under the age of 2, it is recommended that they avoid eating foods containing added sugar altogether.

But by the time children reached between 1 and 2 years old, nearly all of the sugar those children got was added.

Added sugar consumption starts for many before their first birthday and increases with age as toddlers between the ages of 19 and 23 months are consuming on average more than 7 teaspoons of added sugar a day.

Consuming added sugar has been linked to a host of health problems including skyrocketing obesity rates and increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. 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. Previous research suggests most Americans exceed those limits. The research titled "Consumption of added sugars among US infants aged 6-23 months, 2011-2014" was presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting in Boston on June 10. Further studies are planned that will better evaluate the specific sources of added sugar children are eating. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans", she said in a society news release.

The researchers say that at present there are no specific recommendations for children under the age of 2 years in the USA government's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

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

"The easiest way to reduce added sugars in your own diet and your kids' diet is to choose foods that you know don't have them, like fresh fruits and vegetables", Herrick said.

Researchers cataloged food items that contained extra cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and other sugars. However, parents should always have the goal to give their children less added sugar, say the researchers of the study. 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. In addition, the study has not been peer-reviewed. Factoring in added sugar taken with coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, the number gets bumped up to 47 percent.

The researchers arrived at this finding after conducting a survey with parents and their children who were between the ages of 6 and 23 months old.