Women should consume no more than 100 calories, and men no more than 150 calories, of added sugar, which is about 6 to 9 teaspoons, or 25 to 37.5 grams, of sugar a day.
Preschoolers with a daily caloric intake of 1,200 to 1,400 calories shouldn't consume any more than 170 calories, or about 4 teaspoons, of added sugar a day.
Children ages 4-8 with a daily caloric intake of 1,600 calories should consume no more than 130 calories, or about 3 teaspoons a day.
Pre-teen and teen years, caloric intake ranges increases to 1,800 to 2,000 a day, the maximum amount of added sugar included in daily diet should be 5 to 8 teaspoons.
What’s Happening now
A study conducted by the AHA found children as young as 1-3 years already bypass the daily recommendations, and typically consume around 12 teaspoons of sugar a day.
By the time a child is 4-8 years old, his sugar consumption skyrockets to an average of 21 teaspoons a day.
The same study found 14-18 year old children intake the most sugar on a daily basis, averaging about 34.3 teaspoons!.
These are almost triple the recommended amount.
Soft drinks and sweetened beverages are the number-one culprit - with one can of soda containing 8 teaspoons or almost 130 calories of sugar.
Many brands of children's favorite foods, such as yogurt, cereal, and fruit juice also contain added sugar, which usually make them high in calories and low in nutrition.
The long-term effects of consuming sugar can be complex. But we know that anyone, including children, who consume too much added sugars may be taking in too many calories – possibly more than the person actually uses. Over a long period, this may cause problems such as weight gain or obesity, which is linked to various other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Limiting added sugar consumption is also recommended for preventing tooth decay.
So how can you curb your child's sugar intake without cutting out all his favorite foods?
Happy Teaching and Cooking!