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Is your child getting more than this amount of sugar a day? Why it matters

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
How much sugar should kids consume?

Getting too much sugar each day could be disastrous for your child's health. The American Heart Association has set some new guidelines to make it simple for parents to know how much sugar is just too much.


According to the scientific statement, your child should consume less than six teaspoons of sugar a day. Limiting sugar means your child is likely to eat healthy foods that are heart healthy.

Why it matters

Sugar can set the stage for obesity and high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

According to the CDC 12.7 million children and adolescents are obese.

The statement, published in the journal Circulation warns parents to limit sodas that can easily add calories and empty nutrition.

What that means is kids, age 1 to 18 should limit sugar to just under 10 ounces a day, or 100 calories.

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Also see: Mother's diet important to children too

Miriam Vos, M.D., Ms.P.H, lead author, nutrition scientist and associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia explained in a press release the statement is meant for all children, in an effort to keep things simple for parents.

To put it in perspective Vos adds most children consume three times the recommended amount. The expert panel who looked at scientific evidence also notes children are consuming too many sugary drinks.

"Children should not drink more than one 8-ounce sugar-sweetened drink a week yet they are currently drinking their age in sugary drink servings each and every week," said Vos.

Children under age 2 should have no added sugar.

Best foods for kids

Parents should focus on giving children plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry and low-fat dairy. the panel says it's best to avoid "junk food" like sweetened cereals, cookies and cereal bars that can also deplete your food budget.