A new statement from the American Heart Association advises all kids from age 2 to 18 to consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugars per day. Children under the age of 2 should consume no added sugars at all.
According to their study, "Associations between added sugars and increased cardiovascular disease risk factors among US children are present at levels far below current consumption levels. Strong evidence supports the association of added sugars with increased cardiovascular disease risk in children through increased energy intake, increased adiposity, and dyslipidemia."
In covering this announcement, HealthDay outlines a simple definition of added sugars as "any sugars, including table sugar, fructose and honey, used in processing and preparing foods or beverages, added to foods at the table, or eaten separately."
Six teaspoons is not very much sugar. Roughly equivalent to 25 grams or 100 calories, you can find 6 teaspoons of added sugars in...
- Almost 1 cup of vanilla ice cream
- Half a large bottle of a typical sports drink
- Just under 2 cups of Lucky Charms
- Roughly one traditional chocolate bar
- Just over two apple cereal bars
According to Miriam B. Vos, one of the lead authors of the study, "Children who eat foods loaded with added sugars tend to eat fewer healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products that are good for their heart health."
Encourage your clients to follow the new guidelines from the American Heart Association, and be sure to check out healthy recipes that are low in added sugars in the free recipe database.
I've also created a new printable handout with the details from this post! Get your copy today!
Also, if you'd like a brand-new sugar infographic for kids, then don't miss the members-only post Added Sugars Infographic.
And here are some great added sugar materials from the Nutrition Education Store...