The U.S Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture Give Guidelines on Sugar Intake For Toddlers

The U.S Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture partnered to develop guidelines for the amount of sugar infants and children under two should take. This initiative was to reduce the rates of cardiovascular disease and obesity. The organizations recommended that children under two should not take any processed sugar.

According to Lisa Bodnar, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences, parents should avoid giving in to their toddlers’ desire for sugar as this would cause adverse health effects.

After the organization released the guidelines, the University of Washington School of Medicine released an online publication. The publication explained that the new guidelines were due to studies that linked cardiovascular issues and obesity to sugar intake in children. These guidelines also ask parents to breastfeed for the first six months of life exclusively.

Eliza Lagerquist, a dietitian at the UW Medical Center, adds that while the guidelines seem surprising, they only concentrate on sugar consumption. She explains that parents should keep their children from junk food since they eat very little.

Parents should avoid added sugars

Bodnar states that both natural and artificial sugars could be added sugars. Natural sugars include honey, while artificial sugar could be high-fructose syrup. Moreover, parents should be careful about seemingly healthy foods such as fruit juices, granola, and yogurt containing hidden sugars. Children only need about two tablespoons of sugar per day.

Additionally, the guidelines state that parents should monitor sugars that don’t appear naturally in bread, vegetables, grains, and fruits. They should give these sugars in low concentrations or avoid them altogether.

Children who eat food with added sugars are prone to health complications

Bodnar states these children need a balance of calories and nutrients to grow. However, food with high concentrations of added sugars typically contains many calories without nutrients.

Furthermore, studies have shown that children who take food with many added sugars are more susceptible to health issues. These children could develop tooth decay, cardiovascular diseases, or obesity.

If parents want to avoid these issues, they should focus on their children’s nutrients from an early age. Numerous studies have shown that children form eating habits within the first two years of life.

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