New studies conducted by the University of Wollongong, as well as the University of Sydney, are showing that a staggering number of Australian children – more than half -- are consuming sugar at rates far exceeding those recommended.
The results of these studies were recently brought to light at the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society’s annual congress. In addition to the number of children going over limit in regards to sugar intake, the studies in question also showed that sugar intake continued to increase as children get older.
For instance, young boys ages 14-16 are thought to be consuming an average of 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily. The term added sugar refers to sugars that have been incorporated in consumables during the manufacturing or packaging process, as opposed to those that occur naturally in foods such as fruits or grains.
According the World Health Organization (WHO), children shouldn’t be deriving any more than 10% of their daily energy from added sugars. With the average Australian child measuring in at 13% daily energy from added sugars, it’s clear that something needs to be done in order to ensure the maintenance of health standards.
Food safety and health authorities will know more should additional studies be conducted that help isolate the sources of the added sugars. Karen O’Dea – professor of population health at the University of Australia – had this to say about the study results:
“It would be especially interesting to see what proportion of ‘added sugars’ came from liquids such as soft drinks, and what came from foods, as there is evidence that sugars consumed as part of watery liquids do not contribute to satiety and are simply added on to what would normally be consumed.”
Health experts are thought to aim their focus here when it comes to formulating new effective health plans into the future.