With Tobacco, Alcohol and Salt locked in the crosshairs, the new public enemy number one seems to be sugar. A new report from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) shows 16% of total daily caloric intake of children and adolescents coming from added sugar in foods and drinks. The recommended amount is no more than 15%, but includes fat, as well as sugar.

The report tracked consumption of children and teens from 2005 to 2008, and it seems that more of the calorie intake comes from sugar added to food, rather than drinks, which might seem surprising. The figures show 59% coming from foods and 41% coming from drinks. Consumption occurred more at home: fifty four percent for beverages and sixty six percent for foods, meaning that regular prepackaged super market foods, are at least as much to blame as restaurants and fast food retailers.

Breaking down the values between boys and girls, showed boys consuming more sugars and although girls had a lower calorific intake than boys, their overall consumption was similar. The sugar habit seems to be adopted later in life with preschoolers consuming less sugar than their older peers. Interestingly, the Mexican-American children and adolescents had a lower consumption of sugars than their Caucasian and Black counterparts, perhaps due to the home cooking and dietary traditions running stronger in Latin families.

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