Children consume 4-times more sugar than recommended

Published 03.06.2016 00:17

A new research by the University of Birmingham and the University of Leeds in the U.K. has revealed that young children consume more sugar in their diet than dietitians recommend.

The research indicates that the largest source is sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). A press release from the European Obesity Summit said that the intake of free sugars should not exceed 5 percent of the daily total energy intake. The study data from 1,085 children in the U.K. shows the mean daily intake of free sugar was nearly 75 grams, while medical recommendations limit sugar to 20 grams. "Of the total free sugar consumed, 25 percent was from fizzy drinks, squash and fruit drinks and 15 percent from fruit juice and smoothies, 10 percent from chocolate, sweets, toffees and mints', eight percent from 'cakes, buns and sponge puddings', and seven percent from yogurt and fromage frais."

Guidance from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and the World Health Organization (WHO) advise that intake of free sugars should not exceed five percent of energy intake. The study authors said, "These findings support public health concern over high intakes of SSBs, given their possible contribution to excess weight gain." Free sugars are sugars added to food, as well as those naturally present in foodstuffs like honey, syrups, fruit juice and fruit juice concentrate, as defined by the WHO in 2015. The study, which aimed to identify sources of free sugar intake in children, has been presented at the European Obesity Summit.

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