Sugar is bad for anyone if consumed excessively, but it has even more damaging effects for children. The CDC decided to take a look at the diet of toddlers and obtained some worrying results. It turns out kids between 6 and 23 months old eat way too much added sugar. In fact, the quantity of sugar they consume exceeds the limits set for adults.
What is added sugar?
Researchers were concerned about the health of American toddlers, so they developed a survey where they interviewed parents with children aged between 6 and 23 months. They asked them questions about the foods they feed their children with. Then, they assessed the quantity of added sugar these foods contain.
These types of sugars come from syrups or other sweeteners added to foods after processing. Most of this sugar is found in soda, cookies, cakes, or ice cream. Therefore, it doesn’t include natural sugar from fruits. Added sugar is one of the biggest risk factors for our health, as it might lead to heart disease, obesity, or diabetes.
For the survey, parents had to write a list of all the things they usually feed their children in a day. Then, researchers put down any product with added sugar, excluding natural sugar coming from fruits or vegetables. This way, they discovered toddlers don’t follow too healthy diets.
Toddlers eat too much added sugar
The results were really worrying, as kids actually consumed way more added sugar than the limit established for adults. Also, the situation became even more dangerous. As kids advanced in age, the quantity of sugar they consumed was even bigger. On any random day, they consumed an average of seven teaspoons of added sugar.
When you compare this to the limits for adults, you’ll see the situation isn’t too bright. Women are advised to eat only 6 teaspoons of sugar per day while, for men, the limit is of 9 teaspoons. Toddlers should actually not eat added sugar at all, so parents should revise these guidelines before choosing a diet for their kids.
The findings will be presented during this’s year meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.
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