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Pediatrician: Added sugar consumption in children can lead to long-term health problem

Studies show that consumption of added sugars can be bad news for children / Matt Thielke (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Studies show that consumption of added sugars can be bad news for children.

Pediatrician Dr. Mickey Bansal with Coliseum Medical Centers said high added sugar intake by children can lead to health problems.

He said the American Academy of Pediatrics says that increased intake of processed added sugars can lead to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure in children, which can lead to long-term heart problems starting at a young age.

The American Heart Association recommends that children ages 2 to 18 consume less than six teaspoons of added sugar per day. To put this in perspective, one can of soda has about nine and a half teaspoons of sugar.

For children under two Dr. Bansal said he doesn't recommend any added sugars at all.

To help avoid excess sugar consumption, Bansall said that parents can read the labels of foods their children are consuming. He recommends that if sugar is listed as a top three ingredient, avoid it. Additionally, if you see more than one type of sugar listed among ingredients, also avoid it.

Instead, Bansal said parents should be focusing on nutrient-dense foods, like fruits, vegetables and lean meats.

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