WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Added sugar in drinks and foods makes up almost 16 percent of the calories U.S. children and teens consume, federal health officials report.
That's far more than the daily recommendation of no more than 15 percent of calories from both sugar and fat, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published online Feb. 29 in the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.
"We were interested in looking at added sugar consumption in children because of the significant prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States and the fact that the dietary guidelines recommend that 5 to 15 percent of calories come from added sugars or fats," explained lead researcher Cynthia Ogden, an epidemiologist with CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
Although the consumption of added sugars decreased between 1999 and 2008, it's still above recommended levels, she said: Boys consume about 362 calories a day from added sugar, and girls eat about 282 calories in added sugar on a daily basis.
Sugar consumption also went up as children got older, the report showed.
Preschool-aged boys consumed 13.5 percent of their calories from added sugars, while boys aged 6 to 11 consumed 16.6 percent of their calories from added sugars, and those aged 12 to 19 consumed 17.5 percent of their calories from added sugars.
Meanwhile, girls in preschool consumed about 13 percent of their calories from added sugars, girls aged 6 to 11 consumed 15.7 percent of their calories from added sugars, and those aged 12 to 19 consumed 16.6 percent of their calories from added sugars.
In all, about 41 percent of added sugar came from drinks and the rest came from foods, Ogden noted.
Highlights of the report included:
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