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American Toddlers Are Consuming an Alarming Amount of Sugar

June 12, 2018, 5:39 PM UTC

A new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that toddlers are consuming way too much sugar, some of them eating much more sugar than is recommended for a grown adult in a single day.

The American Heart Association recommends that women only consume six teaspoons of added sugar per day and men nine teaspoons. But 99% of toddlers between the ages of 19 and 23 months are consuming more than seven teaspoons of added sugar a day through processed foods, according to the CDC, an amount even higher than what one might find in a Snickers Bar.

Consuming added sugar has been linked to a number of health problems, ranging from obesity to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Researchers are concerned that with these already high sugar levels in childhood, children are being set up to consume even more sugar in their daily diet once they get older.

“This is the first time we have looked at added sugar consumption among children less than 2 years old,” said lead study author Kirsten Herrick, a nutritional epidemiologist at the CDC. “Our results show that added sugar consumption begins early in life and exceeds current recommendations. These data may be relevant to the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

Herrick plans to present the research at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting this week in Boston.