Sugar consumption by toddlers exceeds adult recommendations

Henrietta Strickland
June 13, 2018

Unfortunately, consuming these foods in excess starts when we are young, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

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

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

The researchers analyzed data from 800 infants and toddlers between 6 and 23 months old in the 2011-2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. By the time toddlers reached 19 to 23 months of age, they were averaging more than 7 teaspoons of added sugar per day.

However, the study's results could be unintentionally biased as it was based on parents' answers, thus, it can't be taken as a 100% conclusive study.

While the body processes natural and added sugars in the same way, added sugar raises concerns among nutritionists because it often replaces necessary nutrients in the diet.

Most toddlers in the USA eat more sugar every day than is recommended for adults, according to a study.

The study is expected to be presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting during Nutrition 2018. In a 24 hour window period, all the foods that the child was consuming was recorded.

"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 suggested.

The researchers pointed out that toddlers really should be getting sugar from fruits and vegetables, not from foods with added sugar. For the 6- to 11-month-olds, 61 percent of the sugar in their diet was added sugar.

From run-of-the-mill granulated white sugar to high fructose corn syrup, dietitian Dana Angelo White explained how "these sweeteners are a pure source of carbohydrate and have about 15 calories per teaspoon". However, parents should always have the goal to give their children less added sugar, say the researchers of the study. As for children under the age of 2, it is recommended that they avoid eating foods containing added sugar altogether. The finding showed that the amount of added sugar consumed increased with the age of a child. However soon to be developed is the 2020-2025 edition that will outline the recommended amounts of sugars and fats children under 2 should consume.

But most Americans exceed those limits. These could be from bakery foods or ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, desserts or sweets and candy.

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