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Most Infants, Toddlers Consuming Added Sugars

Findings could have implications for public health and long-term dietary habits

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Most infants and toddlers consume added sugars in their daily diets, according to a study published online Nov. 14 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Kirsten A. Herrick, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2011 through 2016) to estimate added sugars intake among U.S. infants (aged 0 to 11 months) and toddlers (aged 12 to 23 months).

The researchers found that during the study period, 84.4 percent of infants and toddlers consumed added sugars on a given day (98.3 percent of toddlers and 60.6 percent of infants). The mean amount of added sugars was 5.8 teaspoons for toddlers versus 0.9 teaspoons for infants. Non-Hispanic black toddlers had the highest consumption of added sugars (8.2 teaspoons) versus non-Hispanic Asian (3.7 teaspoons), non-Hispanic white (5.3 teaspoons), and Hispanic (5.9 teaspoons) toddlers. Top sources of added sugars for infants were yogurt, baby food snacks/sweets, and sweet bakery products, while for toddlers, the top sources were fruit drinks, sugars/sweets, and sweet bakery products. There was a decline in the mean amount of added sugars consumed for both age groups from 2005-2006 through 2015-2016, although percent energy from added sugars only decreased among infants.

“This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns,” Herrick said in a statement.

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