Toddlers’ Sweet Tooth

The Lempert Report
October 01, 2018

Fellow Forbes contributor Bruce Y. Lee has a must-read column “Toddlers, You Are Eating Too Much Added Sugar”.

He writes that according to a study presented at Nutrition 2018, the American Society for Nutrition's annual meeting, 99 percent of toddlers, ages 19 to 23 months, have added sugars in their diets, an average of 7.1 teaspoons a day – that’s a whopping 29.6 grams. Please note – that’s added sugars – not naturally occurring ones from fruits, vegetables or milk.

Based on this study presented by Kirsten Herrick, PhD from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a majority (61%) of infants, 6 to 11 months old had added sugar in their diets with average daily consumption being 0.9 teaspoons. The sugar consumption then rises to 5.5 teaspoons when they hit one year old through the time they reach 18 months.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans does not include "added sugar" recommendations for anyone under 2 years of age. The 7.1 teaspoons of added sugars a day that I mentioned before – well that already exceeds the recommended 6 teaspoon daily limit for older children (age 2 to 19 years) and adult women. 

By the way, guys you are in luck - the recommended limit for adult men is 9 teaspoons. 

Back to the kids. Lee writes that excess sugar can contribute to various childhood health problems such as obesity and cavities in teeth and later to major health issues such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Some kids, according to the CDC, at 10 years old are getting type 2 diabetes. 

Food retailers should take the initiative – as many have – and offer retail dietitians in their stores to help answer shoppers questions about sugars, salt & fat – if we are to avoid epidemic proportions of obesity and other diseases that could be avoided with the proper nutrition education and eating habits. For more – visit