Dr. Campbell: New guidelines released for sugar intake in kids

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Obesity is epidemic in the U.S. today.

In a landmark statement, the American Heart Association just released new guidelines for sugar intake in children. The guidelines suggest a daily limit of less than six teaspoons of sugar for children between ages two and 18, and none at all for kids younger than two years old.

Children in the U.S. today consume an average of 19 teaspoons of sugar a day. This can result in obesity—currently one-third of kids are considered obese.  Childhood obesity puts our kids at significant risk for serious diseases in early adulthood, including type-2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and even heart disease.

A year ago, the World Health Organization recommended that kids consume no more than 10 percent of their daily calories as sugar—this is difficult to quantify.  Now, these new guidelines make it much simpler to figure out—no more than six teaspoons or 25 grams or 100 calories a day.

This is a significant reduction in intake.  The bigger picture is that now, finally, a major health organization is taking the fight to prevent obesity very seriously and working to help parents provide kids with better health and nutritional habits earlier in life.

Remember that added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup have no nutritional value. Read labels and avoid these. Stick to natural sugars such as those found in fruits. Make sure to also encourage daily exercise and healthy food choices as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

To get in touch with Dr. Campbell, you can head to his website, Facebook page or message him on Twitter. If there’s a topic you’d like to see Dr. Campbell cover, let us know by sending an email to newstips@wncn.com.

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