A new report from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, has determined that anything more than six teaspoons (not tablespoons) of sugar per day is “dangerous” for children’s health, according to the Daily Mail.
The revelations are alarming considering the fact that most kids today consume far more sugar than the new amount recommended in this recent report. The health implications of consuming too much sugar can be severe, causing chronic illness and diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
Additionally, overloading on sugar may cause damage to the heart and brain, affecting cognitive function and psychological well-being, research suggests. Scientists participating in the research say parents are often confused about how much sugar is too much for their kids.
Sugar over-consumption is endangering children’s health, say researchers
“There has been a lack of clarity and consensus regarding how much added sugar is considered safe for children, so sugars remain a commonly added ingredient in foods and drinks, and overall consumption by children remains high – the typical American child consumes about triple the recommended amount of added sugars,” said pediatrics professor Dr. Miriam Vos.
Six teaspoons of sugar is the equivalent to one small chocolate bar, and less than a can of soda, as soft drinks contain just less than 10 tsp, according to reports.
This means that if your child has one can of soda over the course of the day they’re already exceeding the recommended limit. Most children, with the exception of those born to super duper health conscious mommies, consume not only a can of soda but plenty of sugary snacks, too.
A diagram published by the Daily Mail provides a clear outlook of exactly how much sugar exists in popular candies and drinks.
Kids who drink just one can of most sodas are likely exceeding the recommended sugar intake
For example, a regular-sized Snickers bar contains about 27 grams of sugar, or roughly 7 tsp, while a Milky Way has about 8.75 tsp. One can of Sprite contains about 8.25 tsp, while a Mountain Dew has about 11.5 tsp.
If your child has a can of soda and a candy bar in one day, their health is essentially in danger, according to this latest research based on peer-reviewed data. Researchers add that children under the age of two should have no added sugars in their diet whatsoever.
The study states that one teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4g, and therefore six teaspoons is the equivalent of 24g, which amounts to about 100 calories.
Children between the ages of four and eight should not exceed consumption of more than three teaspoons of sugar per day, or 12 g, and those nine and older should not have more than eight tsp, according to the National Institute of Health.
“Our target recommendation is the same for all children between the ages of two and 18 to keep it simple for parents and public health advocates,” the Emory University researchers said in an effort to simplify sugar intake recommendations.
They added that eating six teaspoons or less of added sugars per day is an achievable goal.
“Children who eat foods loaded with added sugars tend to eat fewer healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products that are good for their heart health,” said Prof. Vos.
“If your child is eating the right amount of calories to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight, there isn’t much room in their food ‘budget’ for low-value junk foods, which is where most added sugars are found.”
The research was published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.