U.S. babies, toddlers consume sugar well beyond recommended levels

13 June, 2018, 20:32 | Author: Kara Nash
  • U.S. babies, toddlers consume sugar well beyond recommended levels

They found that 85 percent of the infants and toddlers consumed added sugar on a given day and that added sugar consumption rose with age.

Added sugar is sugar that's put in food during preparation or processing.

Another serious situation shapes up in the USA, as a recent study carried out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) revealed an increasingly higher added sugar consumption in toddlers. There are statistically proven links between high sugar and asthma and heart diseases.

A new study suggests children in America are eating too much sugar, and too soon. 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.

The body processes all types of sugars in the same way, but those added to food are believed to be more harmful. That's because they don't have the same nutritional value, such as vitamins and fiber, as unprocessed foods and contain high levels of calories.

Kirsten Herrick, a nutritional epidemiologist at the CDC, examined 24-hour food consumption patterns of a nationally representative sample including more than 800 infants and toddlers aged 6 to 23 months old. Since 1960, around 190,000 people have taken part in the study in total.


Researchers cataloged food items that contained extra cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and other sugars. Zero-calorie sweeteners and sugars that are present naturally in foods were not counted. For the 6- to 11-month-olds, 61 percent of the sugar in their diet was added sugar. The finding came as a result of a study done on children between the ages of 6 and 23 months old. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans".

The latest nutritional guidelines for the USA, which were updated in 2015 and will be reviewed in 2020, do not give recommendations for children under the age of two. They also found 98 percent of children age 12-18 months eat added sugar daily.

Despite these recommendations, however, a previous study shows that the majority of Americans consume more than what they're supposed to.

How can people reduce their intake of added sugars?

She also advised people to opt for healthier ways to satisfy a sweet tooth, such as choosing more foods like whole fruits and vegetables and less of pre-sweetened cereals or juices.

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