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CDC Kids Sugar

March 1, 2012 by staff 

CDC Kids Sugar, A substantial percentage of calories in the diets of children and adolescents came from added sugars during a period spanning 2005 through 2008, according to a data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reducing the consumption of sources of added sugar “could play an important role in reducing the high prevalence of obesity in the United States without compromising adequate nutrition,” the authors wrote.

About 16% of children and adolescents’ total caloric intakes came from added sugars, according to the report. Although that rate represented a decline from a decade before, it still exceeded the recommended amount. Dietary guidelines from the Department of Agriculture recommend getting no more than 15% of daily calories from sugar and fat combined.

Boys consumed more added sugars than girls during the period studied, although the intakes were similar when considering the amount as a percentage of total calories consumed.

Non-Hispanic white children and adolescents consumed a larger percentage of their calories from added sugars than Mexican-American children and adolescents. Also, non-Hispanic black girls consumed a larger percentage of their calories from added sugars than Mexican-American girls. The authors found little difference in added sugar consumption based on poverty income ratio.

Children consumed more of their calories from added sugars as they aged, according to the report. The amount of calories consumed from added sugars was 13.5% of total calories for boys in preschool, 16.6% for boys ages 6 to 11 and 17.5% for boys ages 12 to 19.

For girls, the rates were 13% in preschool, 15.7% from ages 6 to 11 and 16.6% from ages 12 to 19.

Some of the findings differed from findings of previous reports. Previous research demonstrated sodas are the leading source of added sugar intake among children, adolescents and adults, but the latest study found about 40% of calories from added sugars came from beverages.

The report also found more calories from added sugars were consumed at home rather than away from home. Other reports have suggested foods prepared away from home contribute to increased total energy intake and that eating location is a factor in calories consumed.

The authors defined added sugars to include “all sugars used as ingredients in processed and prepared foods such as breads, cakes, soft drinks, jams, chocolates, ice cream and sugars eaten separately or added to foods at the table.”

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