Sugar finally makes headlines!
For the first time the American Heart Association has offered specific recommendations on added sugar consumption in children:
- Children consume less than six teaspoons of added sugars per day.
- Children and teens should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened 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 sugar-sweetened drinks.
Eating foods high in added sugars throughout childhood is linked to the development of risk factors for heart disease, such as an increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure in children and young adults. The likelihood of children developing these health problems rises with an increase in the amount of added sugars consumed. Overweight children who continue to take in more added sugars are more likely to be insulin resistant, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, according to the statement.
The statement published in the journal Circulation was written by a panel of experts who did a comprehensive review of scientific research on the effect of added sugars on children’s health, which presented challenges common to this kind of nutrition research.
This news directly supports COPC’s policy objectives around healthy food, healthy beverages and active lifestyles for all children in Washington State.