British children consume too much added sugar

WHO recommends that free sugars should make up no more than 10% of daily calories, with 5% or less being the recommended target for optimal health. This equates to a maximum of about 50g (12 teaspoons) of free sugar per day, with 25g (6 teaspoons) being the target for 7-10 year olds. [1].

This new analysis of 2,336 children from the UK’s largest contemporary dietary dataset, found more than a third of children aged 21 months (819/2,336) and at least 80% (374). /460) 7-year-old exceeds the 10% daily calorie limit recommendation from free sugars. And just 16% (363/2,336) toddlers and 1.5% (7/460) 7-year-olds had average daily free sugars below the 5% target.

Importantly, the findings indicate that most of the free sugars in a toddler’s diet come from whole fruit juices, yogurt, and shiitake juice; while in children, the main sources are pure fruit juices, cakes and confectionery, confectionery made with chocolate.

Lisa Heggie from University College London, UK, who led the study, said: “Our results suggest that free sugar consumption begins earlier and exceeds public health recommendations. at present, largely due to the high amount of added sugars in the modern diet.” “Much of children’s daily sugar intake is hidden in packaged and ultra-quickly processed foods, many of which are marketed as healthy. For example, one standard serving of breakfast cereals.” can contain up to 13 grams (3 teaspoons) of free sugar, and some yogurts contain up to 15 grams (about 4 teaspoons).”

Children with obesity are more likely to become obese adults, with risks associated with a number of serious health conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Although there is evidence that keeping free sugars below 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity, and tooth decay, further reductions to less than 5% have health benefits. For additional health, data on free sugars in toddlers and children in the UK are limited.

Sugar intake in UK children

To provide further evidence, the researchers analyzed data from the Gemini study. The study was led by Associate Professor Clare Llewellyn at UCL and followed 2,400 British families with twins born in 2007. Parents were asked to complete a 3-day food diary for 2,336 babies when they were babies. go (21 months old), and again. for a subsample of 460 children when they were 7 years old. The researchers calculated average total daily energy intake and counted any free sugars from foods and beverages. The study did not include zero-calorie or sugar-sweetened sweeteners that are naturally found in fruits and vegetables and milk.

Results from the Gemini research team (@GeminiResearch) indicate that toddlers in the UK consume on average more than six teaspoons (25.6g) of free sugar per day; and by age 7, the average child consumed nearly 18 teaspoons (57.4g) per day.

According to Heggie, “We need to ensure that children are encouraged to drink water instead of free sugar-laden beverages to reduce the risk of childhood obesity and improve their oral health, while choosing foods no added sugars like fresh fruits and vegetables Parents will also benefit from clearer nutritional information on these foods to help them identify hidden sugars. claims like ‘no added sugar’ are misleading and unhelpful when the product contains high levels of natural sugars. Free sugar appears because it has been processed (e.g. fruit juice concentrate).”

She added, “Governments and food manufacturers also need to do more to reduce the free sugar content of foods and beverages and improve products that are a significant source of added sugars in the diet.” children’s diets such as yogurt, juice, cakes and chocolate-based confectionery.”

The authors conclude by highlighting the need for further research to examine the association between free sugar intake during toddlerhood and childhood and obesity risk later in life. .

Source: Eurekalert

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