Another serious situation shapes up in the U.S., as a recent study carried out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) revealed an increasingly higher added sugar consumption in toddlers. Seven teaspoons of added sugar, twice the amount in a cup of chocolate milk, was the average for toddlers between 19 and 23 months.
Children between 6 to 11 months consumed 61 percent of added sugar but when these kids reached the age between 1 to 2 years, the amount of added sugar consumed increased between 98 to 99 percent.
Although the USA government's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) states Americans over the age of 2 should consume less than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugar, they do not yet include recommendations for children under 2.
Added sugars include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, and sucrose, according to the CDC. There are statistically proven links between high sugar and asthma and heart diseases. But for children ages 2 to 19 and adult women the suggested limit is 6 teaspoons or less.
How can people reduce their intake of added sugars? Almost 98 to 99 percent of the sugar consumed by 1- and 2-year-olds was added sugar.
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. "Our results show that added sugar consumption begins early in life and exceeds current recommendations". Dr. Herrick said the easiest method of reducing added sugars in one's own and one's children's diets is to choose foods that do not contain added sugars such as fruits and vegetables. Men, on the other hand, need 150 calories or about 9 or less teaspoons per day.
Among children aged 12-23 months, Herrick said added sugar consumption was highest among non-Hispanic black children and lowest among non-Hispanic white children. 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. However, the scientists behind the study are now planning on analyzing the products with added sugar that kids usually consume.
Federal dietary guidelines don't now include recommendations for that age group.
The research team also plans to examine the specific sources of added sugar young children are consuming in the future.
The team plans to further investigate the data, including examining trends over time. "When hefty doses of these types of added sugars are eaten, it can lead to weight gain and poorly controlled blood sugar levels". In addition, the study has not been peer-reviewed.
But parents have not been heeding that advice, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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