So, how much sugar is too much when it comes to your kiddos? According to the American Heart Association, kids between the ages of two to 18 should not be eating more than six teaspoons of added sugar in their diets each day.
The new recommendations are being dubbed as an ‘important public health target’, which was recently revealed in the journal Circulation. The article offers an overview of these new guidelines.
Dr. Miriam Vos, lead author of the report, stated that a child’s diet with increased added sugars is highly linked to obesity, weight gain, fatty liver disease, irregular cholesterol as well as a heightened chance for cardiovascular risk in the future.
CNN reported that the research team analyzed and reviewed over 100 past reports and studies on the effects of added sugars on kids and cardiovascular health. The team also reviewed dietary data via the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine how much added sugar was consumed across America, from 2009 to 2012.
After this review, the team came to the conclusion that on average, children are eating far more than the new, daily recommended 25 grams or less, of added sugar. The recent dietary guidelines rolled out nation-wide via the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion had recommended limiting added sugar intake to ten percent or less than the calories that make up your child’s day. This new amount goes hand-in-hand with these recommendations, with 25 grams equaling out to be less than ten percent of daily calories for most kiddos; and it’s a number that parents and caregivers can easily understand and follow.
But what is ‘added sugars’? To iron this out, it is really any honey, table sugar, or fructose added to beverages or food (or even consumed separately or added to a meal). Some examples of beverages and foods that contain ‘added sugars’ include cakes, ice cream, candy, pies, and soda pop.
Vos adds some examples to consider, when it comes to added sugars. While a cream cheesed, plain, whole-grain bagel can have no added sugar; a doughnut that is frosted will have about 23 grams of it. She goes on to note that cereal can have anywhere from one gram to 12 grams of added sugar per serving, and it really depends on the type of cereal. Pop generally has 33 grams.
At the end of the day, it may be hard to follow this 25-gram recommendation. Dr. Rober Lustig (not associated with the paper) chimed in, stating that many processed, supermarket foods are made high in sugar, and low in fiber, making it challenging for parents and caregivers to not go over the six-teaspoon mark.