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AHA recommends children aged 2–18 consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugars per day and limit consumption of sugary drinks to less than 8 ounces per week.
In the latest sign of the ongoing siege against added sugars, the American Heart Association (AHA; Dallas, TX) issued strict added sugar limits for children aged 2–18 on Monday. The move comes a little over three months after FDA announced the new Nutrition Facts label would include a new line for “added sugar,” with many food brands already distancing themselves from the embattled sweeteners.
Writing in Circulation, the AHA recommends children aged 2–18 consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugars per day, or less than 25 g. The recommendation also urges children and teens to limit intake of sugary drinks to no more than 8 oz per week, while children under the age of 2 should avoid added sugars altogether, according to the AHA.
Consumer advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI; Washington, DC), which released a statement in support of the AHA recommendations, noted that a 20-oz bottle of Coke contains approximately 16 teaspoons of added sugar-nearly three times the daily limit for children that AHA recommends.
In its recommendation, AHA points to the association between added sugar intake and numerous health conditions, including increased cardiovascular health risk, obesity, hypertension, and obesity-related cancers.
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Vos MB et al., “Added sugars and cardiovascular disease risk in children: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association,” Circulation. Published online August 22, 2016.