The American Heart Association knows, through a study released last summer, that children consume too much added sugar in their diets.
When children consume diets high in added sugar, they can develop a preference for sweet tasting beverages and foods, which takes the place of healthy choices like fruits, vegetables, milk and water. As a matter of fact, a large contributor to the childhood overweight problem is the amount of added-sugar children are consuming in beverages and snack foods. Three times as much sugar-added foods and beverages than they should to grow to be a healthy weight – putting them at greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In New Hampshire, we started building a coalition effort to pass public policies to help children grow to be a healthy weight. Public policies which can transform the environment where our children learn, live and play include:
- Removing junk food advertising and marketing in schools
- Changing soda as the default option in many restaurant kids meals
- Improving nutrition offerings in early child education programs
We need to create an environment for children that favors the development of healthier food and beverage choices. You’re The Cure advocates can help the American Heart Association make our communities a place where children receive a consistent set of messages about healthy eating.