Toddlers consuming too much added sugar, study finds

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

Most American Toddlers Eat More Than the Recommended Sugar Intake for Adults, Study Shows

A new study shows American toddlers are getting too much sugar. Energy and protein bars can also contain a lot of sugar, and it's also found in the condiments we add to foods: each tablespoon of ketchup contains one teaspoon of sugar.

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.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued by the USA government, recommends children between 2 and 19, limit added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons per day.

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

Sugars added to soda or candy or processed foods are usually just that, sugar.

In the USA, at least one in five children ages 6 to 19 years old is obese, according to the CDC. They do not include naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruits, vegetables, and milk.

According to both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association, children under the age of 2 shouldn't consume foods or drinks with added sugars at all.




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. In a 24 hour window period, all the foods that the child was consuming was recorded. That's perhaps why, unlike the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the 2020-2025 edition will include dietary recommendations for infants and toddlers under two.

This tracks (pdf) with an increase in U.S. sugar intake broadly: In 1970, Americans ate 123 pounds of sugar per year, and today, the average American consumes nearly 152 pounds of sugar per year. Added sugar consumption rose with age.

The 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that sweetened beverages are the major source of added sugars in typical USA diets-in fact, they account for 47% of all added sugars consumed by Americans.

The results indicate that 85 percent of infants and toddlers consumed added sugar on a given day.

Herrick said the best way to cut sugar from the diets of children and adults is to "choose foods that you know don't have them, like fresh fruits and vegetables". Parents of more than 80% of kids aged six to 23 months reported their children consumed at least some added sugar on a given day. Regardless of the recommendations, most people in the USA eat more than this limit, research shows.

How can people reduce their intake of added sugars? 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.

"Added sugars" are sugars added as a powder or sucrose syrup.

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