New study reveals 80% of 7-year-olds consume too much sugar
A new study has revealed that 80% of 7-year-olds in the UK consume too much sugar.
Researchers found that 80% of 7 year old children are exceeding the daily recommended intake of 10% of calories from free sugars. The study, which involved 2,336 children, showed that toddlers in the UK consume an average of 25.6g of free sugars per day. This figure rises to 57.4g of free sugars per day for 7-year-olds. The World Health Organization recommends a maximum daily intake of free sugars of 50g and a recommended daily intake of 25g for 7-10-year-olds. This equates to 10% and 5% of daily calories respectively.
The findings of the study will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Maastricht in the Netherlands. Lead researcher, Lisa Heggie, from University College London, suggested that many children are consuming high levels of free sugars via foods that are marketed as healthy products, such as fruit juices, smoothies and flavoured yoghurts. Ms Heggie urged parents to check food labels and to try to encourage children to drink more water and to opt for fresh fruit and vegetables, rather than foods that contain added sugars.
The research team found that toddlers get most of their sugar from yoghurts, fromage frais and pure fruit juices. In older children, the most common sources of sugars are fruit juice, cakes and pastries and chocolate bars and sweets.
Researchers claim that food labelling can be misleading, which means that parents and carers buy products they think are healthy, which actually contain a lot of sugar. Examples include breakfast cereals, juices and smoothies and yoghurts. Often, there are labels that advertise no added sugar, which don’t tell the whole story. Many products that don’t contain added sugar may still have high levels of sugar. A standard serving of cereal, for example, can contain up to 15g of free sugars.
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