To describe current findings on sugar intake in children worldwide, including sugar sources and their impact on child health focusing on cardiometabolic alterations usually associated to obesity.
In children less than 4 years, intakes of added sugars across countries ranged from 9.8 to 11.2% of total energy; in children 4–10 years, it ranged from less than 3–18%; and in adolescents, it ranged from 13.6 to 16.6%. For most countries, intakes of added sugars were greater than the recommended upper limit of 10% of total energy for children and adolescents and less or around 10% in infants. In most studies, soft drinks and fruit-based drinks accounted for the greatest proportion of the added sugars intake, followed by milk products and sweet bakery products. High added sugar intake has been associated with increased obesity risk and fat deposition in the liver, contributing to dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and cardio-metabolic risk.
As a high added sugar intake is associated with cardio-metabolic conditions in children and adolescents, the current scenario supports the need for stronger targeted long-term policies that prevent the excessive sugar intake in young populations.
aGrowth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development (GENUD) Research Group, University of Zaragoza, Food and Agriculture Institute of Aragón (IA2), Health Research Institute of Aragón (ISS Aragón), Zaragoza
bCIBER Obesity and Nutrition Physiopathology (CIBEROBN). Madrid, Spain
Correspondence to Luis Alberto Moreno, MD, PhD, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, University of Zaragoza, C/Domingo Miral s/n, 50009, Zaragoza, Spain. Tel: +34 976 761000 x4457; e-mail: email@example.com