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Is your kid eating too much sugar?

We all know that sugar isn’t a superfood. But it’s now coming to light that back in the 1960s, the sugar industry may have essentially paid off researchers to downplay health concerns associated with sugar, and they worked hard to make fat—not sugar—the villain blamed for heart disease. That may have influenced more than a half-century of misguided public-health advice.

Sugar occurs naturally in many foods, including fruits, dairy products, and even some vegetables. But health experts at Consumer Reports say the real cause for concern is added sugars, particularly for children.

Added sugar has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Kids should have less than 25 grams of added sugar per day. One 12-ounce Gatorade is almost a whole day’s worth of sugar!

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Added sugars can also lurk in surprising places, including many foods that sound really healthy. Starting your day with a steaming bowl of Nature’s Path Organic Apple Cinnamon oatmeal? Or maybe Barbara’s Vanilla Almond Morning Oat Crunch or Kellogg’s Smart Start? All three have 14 grams of sugar in each serving, 40 percent more than you’d find in a serving of Fruit Loops!

You probably wouldn’t put chocolate frosting on your morning toast, but two tablespoons of Nutella actually have more sugar than two tablespoons of Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy chocolate frosting! So choose wisely. And remember, everything in moderation.

Right now it’s hard to figure out how much of the sugars in a food are “added” from reading the Nutrition Facts label, because natural and added sugars are lumped together. But beginning in the summer of 2018, manufacturers will be required to separate them, listing total and added sugars on food labels.

Consumer Reports

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright © 2016 Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

2 comments

  • Royse

    One of sugar’s major drawbacks is that it raises the insulin level, which inhibits the release of growth hormones, which in turn depresses the immune system. I’m eating diabetes curing diet to improve my health and reverse diabetes. So far I’m satisfied with the results. I actually read an article about diabetes curing diet and it seemed like the person had great success so I gave it a try. The article was very helpful to me — if you want to check it out yourself you can read it here http://curediabetespro.gq/

  • Benjamin Kamp

    The hardest part is explaining why your kids don’t get something that seems so good. The children’s book “The Sugar Story” – http://www.thesugarstory.com explains sugar in an easy-to-understand way that doesn’t portray sugar as the “bad guy”, but more something that is no longer being used in the right way.

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