Sugar consumption by toddlers exceeds adult recommendations

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. That is the equivalent of a Snickers. Almost 98 to 99 percent of the sugar consumed by 1- and 2-year-olds was added sugar. However, the scientists behind the study are now planning on analyzing the products with added sugar that kids usually consume. It has been linked to higher rates of obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure, along with dental cavities.

Now, according to the CDC, all these pediatric illnesses are triggered by a higher added sugar consumption than normal in toddlers across the USA and the experts recommend parent to avoid feeding their children with products that are known to contain added sugar, such as sweetened cereals, candies, sweet sodas, fruity yogurts, and so on.

The study is expected to be presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting during Nutrition 2018. They do not include naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruits, vegetables, and milk.

The researchers got the data from the 2011-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Since 1960, around 190,000 people have taken part in the study in total.

The parents of the study participants were asked to note down everything their child ate in a 24-hour period. Zero-calorie sweeteners and sugars that are present naturally in foods were not counted. With age the sugar consumption rose. The children were aged between 6 and 23 months. The Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 reveals that sugar-sweetened beverages make up 39 percent of added sugars in an average American's diet.

Federal dietary guidelines don't now include recommendations for that age group. But the advice for 2020 to 2025 will offer parents and carers tips on how to feed toddlers.

Just over 60 percent of those ages 6 to 11 months averaged just under 1 teaspoon of added sugar a day. Regardless of the recommendations, most people in the US eat more than this limit, research shows. Further studies are planned that will better evaluate the specific sources of added sugar children are eating.

"The easiest way to reduce added sugars in your own diet and your kids' diet is to choose foods that you know don't have them, like fresh fruits and vegetables", Herrick advises.