FORBES | Earlier this year, I called attention to the dangers added sugars pose to cardiovascular health and other health outcomes. In the months since, many people have told me how surprised they’ve been to learn about the sugar hidden in their healthy morning yogurt or afternoon energy bar. Frankly, I was too. And this lack of food literacy is a driving factor behind our nation’s growing health crisis and obesity epidemic.
Some health-conscious organizations are trying to bridge that information gap. This week, the American Heart Association (AHA) came out with its first ever scientific statement on added sugar for children. A team of scientists conducted an extensive review of the available evidence published in peer-reviewed studies examining the cardiovascular health effects of added sugars on children, and came to a powerful conclusion.
The AHA-backed experts recommended that children and teens should consume less than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar a day, and those under the age of two should not consume any added sugars. Additionally, those 2 – 18 should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks to no more than eight ounces weekly (none for those under age two). That means less than one soda or sugary fruit drink per week.