Kirsten Herrick, the lead author of the study and a nutritional epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement that this is the first time the body has looked at how much added sugar children below the age of two eat.
From run-of-the-mill granulated white sugar to high fructose corn syrup, dietitian Dana Angelo White explained how "these sweeteners are a pure source of carbohydrate and have about 15 calories per teaspoon".
The CDC just recently launched a website that gives parents advice on diets that limit certain foods and drinks for toddlers and babies. But that affinity for the sweet stuff starts as early as infancy, with some babies consuming added sugar that exceeds maximum levels recommended for adults, USA researchers report.
"The easiest way to reduce added sugars in your own diet and your kids' diet is to choose foods that you know don't have them, like fresh fruits and vegetables", said Herrick. Other research has shown that both eating too much naturally occurring sugar and processed sugar can change receptors in the brain, increasing cravings for sweet foods. The earlier patient is introduces to high sugar consumption, the heavier the consequences he or she will face during the life.
Researchers found that many children under the age of 2 in the United States are eating more added sugar than the recommended amount for adults. Those who were between 19 and 23 months were found to consume an average of more than 7 teaspoons of added sugar on a given day. In a 24 hour window period, all the foods that the child was consuming was recorded. So, parents might want to consider cutting soft drinks, fruit drinks, and flavored waters out of their toddlers' diets, in addition to snacks and candies, the second major source of added sugars. However soon to be developed is the 2020-2025 edition that will outline the recommended amounts of sugars and fats children under 2 should consume. Previous research suggests most Americans exceed those limits. With age the sugar consumption rose. By 19 to 23 months, 99% of children ate an average of over seven teaspoons of added sugar on a given day.
It was found 60 percent of children began consuming added sugar before their first birthday. Factoring in added sugar taken with coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, the number gets bumped up to 47 percent.
The latest nutritional guidelines for the USA, which were updated in 2015 and will be reviewed in 2020, do not give recommendations for children under the age of two. However, the scientists behind the study are now planning on analyzing the products with added sugar that kids usually consume. There were no differences in added sugar consumption by race among infants 6-11 months.