US Infants Eating More Added Sugar Than Adult Limits Before 2nd Birthday


"This is the first time we have looked at added sugar consumption among children less than 2 years old", lead study author Kirsten Herrick, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nutritional epidemiologist, says in a statement. The measured amount of extra sugar reportedly consumed by the children in the study was based entirely on the parent's memory.

According to American Heart Association, the children who are below 2 years old should avoid consuming food items which consist of added sugar, including baked goods, sugary drinks desserts, ready to eat cereals, candy and yogurt.

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. However, the scientists behind the study are now planning on analyzing the products with added sugar that kids usually consume.

Most toddlers in the US eat more sugar every day than is recommended for adults, according to a study. "Our results show that added sugar consumption begins early in life and exceeds current recommendations".

The body processes all types of sugars in the same way, but those added to food are believed to be more harmful. The Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 reveals that sugar-sweetened beverages make up 39 percent of added sugars in an average American's diet.

In the future, researchers will investigate the specific foods children consume their added sugar. Almost 98 to 99 percent of the sugar consumed by 1- and 2-year-olds was added sugar.

Parents of 800 children aged 6 to 23 months were questioned on what their child's "added sugar" consumption was in a 24-hour period.

The added sugar included cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and honey.

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. Factoring in added sugar taken with coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, the number gets bumped up to 47 percent. Between the ages of six to 11 months, just over 60% of babies ate added sugar on a given day, at around under one teaspoon on average. The DGA will likely be updated in the 2020-2025 edition to include young children.

According to Herrick most adults are exceeding the recommended limits of sugar intake and this is reflected in the children of the household as well.