Do Parents Have Time to Meet the American Heart Association Sugar Recommendations in the World of 2016?
Most of us underestimate how much daily sugar we eat because sugar is a part of, let’s be honest, all processed foods. Watch this Buzzfeed video if you want to have fun being shocked by food sugar amounts. Or read through the American Heart Association (AHA) online guide.
Since excess sugar consumption leads to childhood obesity and diabetes, two risk factors for heart disease, the AHA has drawn a serious line for kid sugar consumption.
AHA Sugar Recommendations
Kid sugar recommendations:
- Newborn - 2: no added sugar at all. None.
- 2-18: less than 6 teaspoons of daily sugar is permissible, but not recommended. One weekly sugary beverage, including fruit juices
These are significant departures from the average American diet.
Why the drastic change?
A JAMA Internal Medicine expose claims the sugar industry has manipulated research on sugar consumption disease risks beginning in 1965.
It started when the sugar lobby paid researchers at Harvard University to conduct a review of select research on how eating fat and cholesterol leads to heart disease. The published review ended up downplaying the heart disease-sugar link that was being equally discussed in other research. Currently known as Subsequent Sugar Association, the lobby has spent several decades shifting blame from sugar and its impact on heart disease.
The practical side of sugar recommendations
Policy changes to avoid future industry bias in health research is great news for concerned parents.
But if you are anything like this mom, taking sugar out of your kids’ diet,
- Requires cooking, possibly from scratch
- Could be a month-long (or more) intensive project
Real Mom Nutrition is a blog by a registered dietitian who posted pictures of what a daily amount of sugar looks like for kids. This was following the old standards.
Skepticism is coming from even the biggest champions of kids healthy eating, like author Bettina Elias Siegel, founder of The Lunch Tray. She points out that if anyone needs to work on reducing sugar, it would be schools themselves.
Send us your comments
Are you able to meet current sugar recommendations?
Do you have any advice for other parents?
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