Toddlers consuming too much added sugar, study finds

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For the 6- to 11-month-olds, 61 percent of the sugar in their diet was added sugar.

A new study suggests children in the USA begin consuming added sugar at a very young age and that many toddlers' sugar intake exceeds the maximum amount recommended for adults. Energy and protein bars can also contain a lot of sugar, and it's also found in the condiments we add to foods: each tablespoon of ketchup contains one teaspoon of sugar.

But parents have not been heeding that advice, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Heart Association already recommends that children under the age of 2 avoid food with added sugars, including ready-to-eat cereals, baked goods, desserts, sugary drinks, yogurt, and candy. But that affinity for the sweet stuff starts as early as infancy, with some babies consuming added sugar that exceeds maximum levels recommended for adults, US researchers report.

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

Eating too much foods containing added sugar has been associated with a number of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and even some cancers.

Researchers found sugar consumption starts early in life and increases as babies develop. Plenty of added sugar in a child's diet can also lead to unhealthy choices in food as an adult.

Accordingly, kids between 1 and 2 years of age were consuming added sugar nearly exclusively and the consumed amount is equal to 7 teaspoons of sugar per day.

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. However soon to be developed is the 2020-2025 edition that will outline the recommended amounts of sugars and fats children under 2 should consume. Men, on the other hand, need 150 calories or about 9 or less teaspoons per day.

Added sugars are sugar and syrups that are added to food products when they are processed or prepared.

It was found 60 percent of children began consuming added sugar before their first birthday.

Researchers at the CDC wanted to study the sugar intake of kids under two.

How can people reduce their intake of added sugars?

The CDC added sugar study did have an explicit limitation. Regardless of the recommendations, most people in the US eat more than this limit, research shows.

The researchers say that at present there are no specific recommendations for children under the age of 2 years in the U.S. government's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). "When hefty doses of these types of added sugars are eaten, it can lead to weight gain and poorly controlled blood sugar levels".