Another day, another reminder that Americans are consuming too much sugar. The American Heart Association has released new guidelines on how much of the sweet stuff is healthy for kids—and it’s less than a third of what’s consumed on average. (So long, days of eating endless bowls of Lucky Charms.)
Currently, kids between the ages of 2 and 19 are downing 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day, according to TakePart (a publication that’s part of Participant Media, which produced the documentary Food Inc.).
The association is now recommending kids have just 6 teaspoons a day, which, FYI, is on par with what is recommended for adults. (The hard-and-fast rule is to keep added sugar consumption under 25 grams daily.) How much is that exactly? One 8-ounce glass of JuicyJuice, for example, has 8 teaspoons of sugar—so that alone exceeds what’s recommended for the entire day.
Even if you don’t have kids, the new guidelines are based on scientific research you need to know about. Studies have shown that a high-sugar diet is linked to developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity—at any age.
Surprising? No. But it is alarming how high sugar consumption continues to be, despite the mountain of evidence that it causes life-threatening problems.
FYI the Food and Drug Administration is coming down so hard on added sugar that nutrition labels are being completely redesigned. Need some help cutting sugar cravings? Try Adriana Lima’s genius—and delicious—hack. (Yep, even supermodels crave the sweet stuff.)