Would You Ever Agree to Let Your Kid Get 25% of Daily Calories from Added Sugar?

As a parent of two young and constantly growing children, I constantly struggle with trying to pack in as many nutrient-dense foods into their tummies as I possibly can.  However, it sometimes feels like an uphill battle when they aren’t always willing participants in the process due to a myriad of seemingly random reasons, including they just aren’t the taste. Anyone who is parent knows that one generally fail safe way to get your kids to willingly eat something is to make sure it has some sort of sweet element to it, so we essentially try to bribe our kids into eating by incorporating something sweet into the meal.

One of the biggest challenges in trying to get balanced nutrition into your kids is the fact that there’s only so much food they are both supposed to eat and willing to eat per day. Therefore, you don’t want to fill them up on empty calories or filler foods because those foods are taking up the precious, limited tummy space where a more nutrient-dense food could be occupying.

With this thought in mind, I ask you a question….
Would You Ever Agree to Let Your Kid Get 25% of Daily Calories from Added Sugar?

Yes, that’s right. I said 25% as in ONE QUARTER as is 1/4th.

Although, to me, the answer is obvious, it’s apparently not as cut and dry for the Institute of Medicine, the organization that sets American’s recommended daily allowance levels for vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.  While the Institute of Medicine has refused to set an official recommended daily allowance level for added sugars, it has set a recommended maximum added sugar level. Here’s what they have to say…

““Added sugars should comprise no more than 25 percent of total calories consumed. Added sugars are those incorporated into foods and beverages during production which usually provide insignificant amounts of vitamins, minerals, or other essential nutrients. Major sources include soft drinks, fruit drinks, pastries, candy, and other sweets.”1

Is it just me, or does this statement make NO SENSE?

Let’s reword this statement….

“It’s okay for added sugars, which primarily come from junk food, to comprise up to 25% of your daily calories. However, added sugars contain virtually nothing nutritious.”

Can you imagine what would happen to our nation’s health if all Americans consumed a 1/4th of the daily calories as added sugar?

I think it’s safe to conclude that the Institute of Medicine’s policy of lack of policy regarding added sugars is ridiculous and not in the interest of public health. Now the question remains, Why in the world would the IOM take such an outlandish stance?

More to come regarding that theory…


1 Source: http://www.iom.edu/reports/2002/dietary-reference-intakes-for-energy-carbohydrate-fiber-fat-fatty-acids-cholesterol-protein-and-amino-acids.aspx

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