Numerous studies have linked added sugars and conditions that lead to cardiovascular disease – the No. 1 cause of death in the world. The typical American child eats about triple the recommended amount of added sugars, half from food and the other half from drinks. For the first time, the American Heart Association (AHA) has offered specific recommendations on how much added sugar children should consume. Published in the AHA’s journal Circulation, the specific recommendations include:
- Children consume less than six teaspoons of added sugar per day.
- Children and teens should limit their intake of sugary drinks to no more than eight ounces weekly.
- Children under the age of 2 years should not consume foods or beverages with added sugars, including sugary drinks.
These new recommendations emphasize that families need to limit food with low nutritional value and that sugars need to be put in perspective in a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry and fish. The major sources of added sugars in American diets are regular soft drinks, sugars, candy, cakes, cookies, pies and fruit drinks (fruitades and fruit punch); dairy desserts and milk products (ice cream, sweetened yogurt and sweetened milk); and other grains (cinnamon toast and honey-nut waffles).
For tips on how to reduce your sugar intake, go to: