AHA Sets New Added Sugar Limit for Kids & Teens

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American Heart Association , AHA, Sugar Limit

Dallas, TX-On Wednesday, The American Heart Association (AHA) announced a new recommendation, published in the journal Circulation, in which children aged 2-18 should eat or drink less than six teaspoons of added sugars daily, which is equivalent to about 100 calories or 25 g of sugar.

The new recommendation, which was written by a panel of experts that did a comprehensive review of scientific research on the effect of added sugars on children health, also suggested children under the age of two should not have any added sugars in their diets, due to their calorie needs being lower and little room being left for food and beverages that will not provide good nutrition.

“Studies of nutrients such as added sugars are challenging, but over time the number of studies in children has increased,” said Miriam Vos, lead author, nutrition scientist, and associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. “We believe the scientific evidence for our recommendations is strong and having a specific amount to target will significantly help parents and public health advocates provide the best nutrition possible for our children.”

Due to a lack of research for or against the routine use of non-nutritive sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharine and sucralose in the diets of children, the experts could not make a recommendation for or against the listed no-calorie sweeteners. The experts also did not know whether the high sugar content in 100% fruit juices should cause the same concerns as beverages with added sugars (soda, fruit-flavored and sports drinks, sweetened teas and energy drinks) which were noted as one of the most common sources of added sugars.

AHA’s new standard comes on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalizing new requirements for the Nutrition Facts label of package foods which includes listing a percent daily value for added sugars.

ublished in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2016, 8/26/2016