Adding up the Added Sugars

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Kids of all ages and incomes are still eating too much added sugar, finds a government report released today.

The findings by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) show that children and teens are consuming an average of 16 percent of their daily calories from added sugars.

On average, boys consumed 362 calories from added sugars and girls 282 calories. As children grew older they ate more added sugars. And they ate them mostly at home. Children and teenagers ate two-thirds of their total added sugar consumption at home. Almost six of every ten added sugar calories came from food, rather than a drink.

Here’s the NCHS brief.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting added sugars and solid fats to 5 to 15 percent of daily calories.  The extra bump in sugars may lead to overweight and obesity. In adults, overweight and obesity is linked to increased risk of seven cancers, along with other chronic diseases.

The report focused on ages 2 through 19, drawing its data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The many flavors and names of added sugars can make them a challenge to identify. Take a look at The Many Names of Sugar to see what to look for on the Nutrition Label.

Are there ways you have cut down on added sugars for your kids?


Author: Mya Nelson

Mya R. Nelson is at American Institute for Cancer Research, where she writes about the research in the field.

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