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The Sugar Content of Snacks Marketed to Kids

The Sugar Content of Snacks Marketed to Kids - AAAStateofPlay.com - Infographic

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How many grams of sugar per day should children take in, and how much are we giving them? We’ve taken a closer look at the top foods marketed to children and mapped just how much sugar is in juice boxes, candies, and snacks. Take a look at the absurdly high amount of sugar in foods! List the number of these items children have per day and see if it’s close to the recommended average sugar intake per day for kids. While it’s well-known that certain for-kids foodstuffs, like cereal, are sugary, other children-targeted items, like juice boxes and fruit snacks, can sneak in gram after gram of sugar. Kids’ snacks can be delicious in moderation, but watch out for excess sugar everywhere!

How Much Sugar Should a Child Have a Day?

The American Heart Association recently did an exhaustive study, resulting in this number:

  • For children ages 2 to 18 years old: 25 grams or less (6 teaspoons) of added sugar daily.

When you’re considering how much sugar per day is healthy, note that added sugars and natural sugars are different. Added sugars included high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners. Unfortunately, as of now, nutrition labels in America only require the total grams of all sugar to be listed, but For a grown person, it’s recommended to have somewhere between 37.5 grams (for men) and 25 grams (for women) — only slightly more than the average daily sugar intake for children. That’s what we’re supposed to have, but how much do we actually eat? The University of California San Francisco estimates that the average American has about 82 grams each day.

How Much Sugar Is Too Much for Kids?

While sugar addiction in kids is a real risk, the true consequence of going well beyond the recommended daily grams of sugar for children is a “strange state of malnutrition” that leads to child obesity. Too many calories and not enough nutrients is a recipe for disaster. Is sugar good for children? Natural sugars, like those in fruit, are actually necessary parts of anyone’s diet, but added sugars are the thing to watch. The AHA tells us that children frequently have double the daily recommended intake of added sugars in the forms of snacks. The real culprit, however, is beverages, according to the World Health Organization. Let’s be cautious about the foods marketed to children and how much sugar is packed in kids’ snacks and work for a healthier and more fit tomorrow.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart