Health group sets new standard for added sugars in children's diet

Health group sets new standard for added sugars in children's diet
© Getty Images

The American Heart Association (AHA) set a new standard Monday for how much added sugar children should consume a day.

The health group is recommending only 6 teaspoons — the equivalent of about 100 calories or 25 grams — for children ages 2 to 18. Children under 2 should not consume any added sugars, it said.

ADVERTISEMENT

When children have a high-sugar diet, the AHA, said it could lead to obesity and high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease.

The new recommendations, which were published in the AHA journal “Circulation,” come about three months after the Food and Drug Administration finalized a new rule that forces manufacturers to list a percent daily value for added sugars on product labels, starting in July 2018.

“Our target recommendation is the same for all children between the ages of 2 and 18 to keep it simple for parents and public health advocates,” Miriam Vos, lead author of the scientific recommendations, said in a statement. “For most children, eating no more than six teaspoons of added sugars per day is a healthy and achievable target.”

The AHA said added sugars are any sugars, including table sugar, fructose and honey, either used in processing and preparing foods or beverages, added to foods at the table or eaten separately.