Sweet young years: toddlers are getting too much added sugars, CDC reports

Consumption of added sugar among Americans has been a widely discussed subject.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found, on average, toddlers eat more than seven teaspoons of added sugar a day.

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. The finding came as a result of a study done on children between the ages of 6 and 23 months old.

The researchers pointed out that toddlers really should be getting sugar from fruits and vegetables, not from foods with added sugar. But they do suggest adults avoid exceeding more than 12 teaspoons of added sugar each day, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. The earlier patient is introduces to high sugar consumption, the heavier the consequences he or she will face during the life.

Researchers warn that children this young consuming this amount of sugar could be at risk of obesity, asthma and also heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol later in life.

The parents of the study participants were asked to note down everything their child ate in a 24-hour period.

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For 6- to 11-month-olds, 61 percent of sugar in their diet was added sugar and that number increased with age. 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.

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. "These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans".

Despite these recommendations, however, a previous study shows that the majority of Americans consume more than what they're supposed to. Further studies are planned that will better evaluate the specific sources of added sugar children are eating.

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.

"Once kids start eating table food, they're often eating the same types of foods that Mom and Dad have in their diet, and other research has demonstrated that adults exceed recommendations for added sugar too", said Herrick.

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