Because of this, kids eat more sugar than the World Health Organization recommends.
The study, conducted by scientists at the University of Toronto, suggests that more than half of kids’ meals that are served at chain restaurants contain unnecessary amounts of sugar, which contradict the daily sugar intake recommendations.
The global agency published on Wednesday the final guidelines regarding the consumption of sugars and urges people to limit the sugar daily intake to less than 10% of their daily calories, and should stay below 5%, in order to maintain an optimal health.
According to the official guidelines, children and adults should not consume more than six teaspoons of added sugars per day, which would mean the 5% mentioned in the report.
Mary Scourboutakos, doctoral student of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto and one of the authors of the new study, explained that it was surprising to find that there is so much sugar added in kids’ meals.
She says that there are foods that contain more than 100gr of added sugars, which can lead to health problems later in life if consumed regularly.
Dr. Scourboutakos explains that this is the equivalent of 25 teaspoons of sugar and almost more than four times than what WHO recommends.
Scourboutakos said that consuming so much sugar can put kids at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life.
The study, which included more than 3,100 kids’ meals from 17 chain restaurants in Canada, was published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports.
According to the report, one in every five kids’ meals exceeded the guidelines released by WHO on sugar intake.
The main culprits are sugary drinks, which contain up to 17 teaspoons of sugar per drink.
But according to Scourboutakos, an increased amount of added sugars was found in less obvious foods, including sandwich spreads or salad dressing.
Experts advise parents to be more careful when choosing kids’ meals, and should educate the children to eat more healthy in order to avoid any future problems.
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