Just how much sugar should your child have each day? Dr. Pierre Loredo, a pediatrician with Lee Health, says too much sugar can actually affect your child’s overall health. “What we end up seeing is a link between kids that early on have exposure to this added sugar in their food, and obviously less fruits, less vegetables, and in doing so those kids grow up and have heart disease.”
Because of this concern the American Heart Association has put out new guidelines on sugar in children’s diets. “Two to eight years of age, you should consume less than 25 grams of added sugar, which is about six teaspoons or about 100 calories,” said Dr. Loredo.
Children less than two years old should completely avoid sugar. All children’s diets should be filled with vegetables, fruits, protein, dairy, and whole grains. “It’s preventing against fatty liver disease, tooth decay, type two diabetes, and heart disease,” said Dr. Loredo.
Parents should also limit sodas, energy drinks, and desserts. “A 16 ounce of Sunny D, for instance, has 28 grams of sugar. Each Oreo cookie has about 4.6 grams of sugar, so 6 Oreo cookies are about the same a 16 ounce bottle of Sunny D,” said Dr. Loredo.
Too much added sugar can also cause high blood pressure in children. “When we find someone with hypertension at a young age, we explore into their diet and you will see that it’s very heavy in those added sugars,” said Dr. Loredo.
Limiting your child’s sugar intake can lower their risk for health problems later on in life.
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