According to recommendations from the World Health Organization, Health Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, children should only consume 5-10% of their daily energy in the form of free sugar or added sugar. food or drink.
But the new study, based on Guelph Family Health Study, found that eight in ten preschoolers ate more than the 5% free sugar limit, while one in three ate more than the 10% recommendation.
We were certainly surprised. Eight out of ten children is a lotsaid David Ma, professor of nutritional sciences at the university and director of the Guelph Family Health Study.
A starting point
The study, which was published in CMAJ Open, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association, looked at 109 children aged 18 months to 5 years from the Guelph area participating in the multi-year health study. Parents took note of what the children ate on a daily basis.
The extra sugar often came from baked goods, candy bars, grains, grain products, and drinks.
According to Dr. Ma, this is the first study in Canada to examine the amount of sugar preschoolers consume.
It certainly highlights the fact that we need to do more research to confirm this in larger or different populations. But at least it gives us a starting point in the sense that this is a potentially important issue that parents should be aware of when it comes to feeding their children., did he declare.
Establish healthy habits from an early age
According to Dr. Ma, there are three things parents can do if they are worried that their children are eating too much sugar:
- Limit the number of servings of foods high in free or added sugars.
- Encourage children to eat whole fruits and vegetables.
- Offer water instead of sugary drinks.
Doctoral candidate and study author Anisha Mahajan said in a statement that it is important to teach children good nutrition.
Eating habits are established very early in life, around the age of six, so it is important to examine the intake of free and added sugar., said Ms. Mahajan.
Free sugar can cause blood sugar spikes, Ms. Mahajan noted, while the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables are absorbed more gradually. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain more fiber, vitamins and minerals than processed foods.
Dr Ma pointed out that the Guelph Family Health Study has posted free cookbooks on their website to help people prepare healthy meals and snacks.
With information from CBC News