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Early sugar consumption promotes bad eating habits – Naturopathy & Naturopathy Specialist Portal

Children's nutrition later affects their eating habits

Many toddlers and newborns already consume a lot of sugar, which contributes to the early development of unhealthy eating habits, which are later linked to various adverse health conditions.

A recent study by the National Institute of Health found that infants and toddlers often consume too much sugar, which can lead to unhealthy eating habits early in life. The results of the study were published in the English Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietics.

In what form is sugar consumed?

Nearly two-thirds of infants (61%) and nearly all infants (98%) consume additional sugar in the study in their average daily diet, mainly in the form of spicy yogurt (infants) and fruit drinks (small children). The infants in the study ranged from 6 to 11 months and the infants were from 12 to 23 months.

Sugars establish unhealthy eating habits early

Increased sugar consumption indicates a serious and persistent problem: early development of eating habits associated with adverse health conditions. The study for the first time examined the sugar consumption in infants and young children. It has been found that most infants and young children consume too much extra sugar.

Sugar sweetened drinks should not be consumed at a young age

This has important implications for public health, as previous research has shown that eating habits established early in life lead to long-term eating habits. For example, a previous study found that six-year-olds who consumed sugary drinks a year ago were more than twice as likely to drink sugary drinks at least once a day later in life.

Impact of sugar on health

Previous nutrition studies of children over two years have found a link between sugar consumption and the formation of cavities in the teeth, asthma, obesity, elevated blood pressure and altered lipid profiles.

How much sugar did children eat?

Researchers analyzed data from 1,211 infants and toddlers from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2016 (NHANES). The results showed that infants consumed about one teaspoon of added sugar per day (equivalent to about two percent of their daily calorie intake), while young children consumed about six teaspoons of sugar (about eight percent of their daily calorie intake).

After reducing, look for sugar in the food

The most important sources of added sugar for infants were mainly yogurt, baby snacks and sweets, as well as sweet pastries. For infants, the main sources were fruit drinks, sweet pastries and sweets. Parents need to be careful about adding sugar to their food if they stop breastfeeding. The transition from a dairy diet to a normal diet has implications for nutrition, taste preference and lifelong eating.

Further investigations are needed on this subject

Further research is needed to better understand this critical phase of diet change. Generally, sugary drinks, such as chocolate flavored milk or sweetened with sugar or sweeteners, should be avoided. (How)


  • Kirsten A. Sherick, Cheryl D. Fryar, Heather F. Hamner, Sohiyun Park, Cynthia L. Ogden: Added sugar intake in infants and babies in the US, in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Request: 14.11.2019), Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Important note:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He could not replace a doctor's visit.

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