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Sugar consumption is a huge factor in the nation’s struggle with obesity, as many kids eat soda, snack foods and other foods with hidden added sugars on a daily basis. In fact, 74 % of Latinos have had a sugary drink by age 2 and about 22% of Latino high-school students have 3 or more sugary drinks a day.
An average 20 oz soda contains around 16 teaspoons of sugar, that’s almost triple the amount of sugar that is recommended!
The American Heart Association (AHA) has now released new guidelines based on a scientific statement giving specific recommendations concerning children’s intake of added sugars. The new guidelines offer helpful tips in understanding how much is too much when it comes to added sugars in foods and beverages.
The AHA recommends:
- Children 2-18 consume less than six teaspoons of added sugars per day.
- Children and teens should limit their intake of sugary drinks to no more than eight ounces weekly.
- Children under the age of 2 years should not consume foods or beverages with added sugars, including sugary drinks.
These new guidelines can help families become familiar with healthier alternatives to lessen sugar consumption and therefore decreasing risks of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Sugary drinks and even some “healthy foods” like yogurt, also have added sugars and are important to limit in a child’s daily diet. Foods that are rich in fiber but still sweet, like fresh oranges and apples, are great alternatives to snack bars and sweetened juices.
Calorie-tracking and learning how to read about added sugars is also important for all families to better understand packaged foods.
To get involved and help stop sugary drinks from hooking our kids, click here!
Click here to find out more about the AHA recommendations for limiting sugar in kids’ daily diets.
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By The Numbers
for every Latino neighborhood, compared to 3 for every non-Latino neighborhood