Added sugars are very common in daily diet. They can make the diet energy dense while nutrient poor. Moreover, they can increase risk of developing obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, and dental caries.
In a recent study, researchers review the current evidence of the impact of added sugars on heart health. They find that added sugars can strongly increase health risk in children. The finding is published in Circulation.
Researchers from the American Heart Association conducted the review and published the scientific statement.
They graded current research studies and divided the findings into 5 broad areas, including effects on blood pressure, effects on lipids, effects on insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus, effects on obesity, and effects on fatty liver disease.
The result showed that far below the current consumption levels, there was a strong association between added sugars and increased heart disease risk in US children.
This was because when children consume added sugars, they had higher energy intake, increased body fat, and higher cholesterol.
Researchers found that it is reasonable to recommend that children (2-18 years old) consume ≤25 g (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugars every day. For children younger than 2 years of age, no added sugars should be put in their diet.
Researchers suggest that added sugars are safe to consume in low amounts as part of a healthy diet. Nevertheless, few children can achieve such levels. Therefore, parents, schools, and society should work together to make this an important public target and help children grow healthily.
Citation: Miriam B. Vos, et al. (2016). Added Sugars and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children. Circulation, 2016; published online. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000439.
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