As adults, we are responsible for making sure the next generation grows up happy and healthy. Recently, the American Heart Association came out with its first ever scientific statement in regards to the maximum amount of added sugar children should consume.
Based on research we believe children should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of “added sugars” a day. These added sugars can come in many forms and are often added to foods in addition to the naturally occurring sugars. Along with the limits on added sugars in food it is recommended that children consume no more than 8 ounces of sugary beverages a week. This may include soda, fruit juices with added sugar and sports drinks.
These limits are important as we work to minimize a child’s risk of conditions such as obesity and diabetes that can lead to cardiovascular disease. If started early, parents can help shape a child’s taste preferences to last into their adult years when they are making the decisions for themselves and their own families in the future.
This announcement comes on the heels of cities such as Berkeley, Oakland, Albany and San Francisco in California and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania passing legislation that will assess a tax on the sale of sugary drinks. Berkeley has already seen a 21 percent decrease in consumption of sugary beverages in low-income neighborhoods since the implementation of the fee.
This new research confirms what we have long thought, children are sweet enough as they are, they don’t need added sugar in their diets.
If you would like more information about the AHA’s new science guidelines on children and sugar please visit: http://news.heart.org/kids-and-added-sugars-how-much-is-too-much/