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Canadian Children Are Eating Too Much Sugar

Despite the push to reduce children’s sugar consumption, Canadian children continue to consume much more sugar than they should – up to five times as much – according to a recent article published in the Globe and Mail.

Data from the most recent Canadian Community Health Survey indicate that kids consume about 33 teaspoons of sugar a day; whereas, the World Health Organization recommends that kids consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar each day.

What are the dangers of consuming too much sugar?

Long-term excessive consumption of sugar not only leads to obesity, but it can also lead to various health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, type II diabetes, sleep apnea, depression, and bone and joint problems.

Where does all the sugar come from?

The main source is sugary beverages, including 100% fruit juices. Although 100% fruit juices are promoted as a healthy choice, it is important to remember that a glass of fruit juice contains about the same amount of sugar as four or five pieces of fruit, but without the fibre and bulk to help fill you up.

Other sugary beverages that are not as healthy as they may seem include vitamin-enhanced waters and energy drinks, sports drinks, flavoured waters and drinkable yogurts.

Aside from sugary beverages, sugar is in most foods that are promoted to kids, even if it’s promoted as a healthy choice, such as baby food, granola bars, yogurt and fruit roll ups.

Use these tips to help reduce your children’s sugar intake.

Avoid sugary drinks – save them for special occasions.

Provide whole foods and limit your use of packaged foods.

When buying packaged foods, choose those with the lowest amount of added sugar.

Keep in mind that there is very little difference between types of sugar – honey or agave sugar is not any healthier than table sugar.