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Study: Kids are Consuming Too Many Sugary Beverages

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Updated: Sunday, January 29, 2017

In new information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the organization reports that almost two-thirds of children aged 2-19 consume at least one sugar-sweetened beverage each day, and 30 percent of children drink two or more sugary drinks per day.

Within that data, male toddlers (ages 2-5) are drinking 65 calories and female toddlers are consuming 59 calories each day, making up 4.1 and 4.0 percent of their daily calories, respectively. As children age, the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed per date increases, with boys aged 12-19 drinking an average of 232 calories per day and girls 12-19 drinking 162 calories. Boys aged 6-11, on average, drink 133 calories per day and girls aged 6-11 consume 104 calories.

When breaking the information down by race, boys and girls identifying as Non-Hispanic Asian consume half as many calories from sugar-sweetened beverages as all other races. Hispanic females, followed by Non-Hispanic white females consume the next lowest calories. Non-Hispanic black females and Hispanic males consume equal amount of sugar with Non-Hispanic white and Non-Hispanic black males topping the list.

Current dietary guidelines recommend that less than 10 percent of a person’s daily calories come from added sugars and the American Heart Association recommends children cons

ume under 100 calories of added sugar and limiting the intake of sugary drinks to no more than eight ounces per week. According to the CDC, consuming an excess of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with Type 2 diabetes, weight gain, cavities and high cholesterol in children.

The information for this study was compiled from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for years 2011-2012 and 2013-2014. Information was collected through an in-person 24-hour dietary recall interviews covering beverage intake for a 24-hour period.

Sweetened beverages within the study were defined as regular soda, fruit drinks – including sweetened bottled waters and fruit juices with added sugar) – sports and energy drinks, sweetened coffees and teas and other sweetened beverages, including horchata and those sweetened with sugarcane. Diet drinks, 100 percent fruit juice and self-sweetened drinks (coffees and teas) were not included in the data. 

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