Guest Bloggers: Marc Watterson & Kami Sutton
As adults, we are responsible for ensuring our children and families grow 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 the AHA believes 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 (ever looked at the ingredients of a loaf of bread to see how much sugar it contained?). 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 diseases such as obesity and diabetes that can lead to even more serious conditions like 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.
What’s most important is that we take the time to model for our children and others what healthy living is all about. For better or for worse, children take their cues from the adults around them. If mom and dad love soda, chances are children are going to want a taste as well!
This announcement from the AHA comes on the heels of cities such as Berkeley, 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 J
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/