On Thursday, September 28th, the Sacramento American Heart Association held their annual State Employee Heart and Stroke Walk at the capitol. From hula hooping to side-stepping bananas, the Walk’s health fair had it all. The American Heart Association fights to end heart disease and stroke and aims to help people live healthier lives.
American Heart Association
New guidelines from The American Heart Association are out now with its first ever statement on the issue of kids overconsuming sugar. They say children should limit their sugar intake to 25 grams a day. That’s just six teaspoons per day. The issue of concern is not with the natural sugar kids consume by eating fruits, bread, and many other natural sugar sourced items. The concern is the amount of added sugar that is added throughout the day. For instance, American kids and teens on average consume up to 90.5 grams of added sugars daily. That’s triple the amount recommended. Many kids are unaware of the extra sugar they are consuming through sodas, sports drinks, sweets, pizza, burgers, corn dogs, and cheeseburgers. A diet high in added sugar for children increases the chance that they’ll develop childhood obesity and or have high cholesterol that will result in other health issues in the future.
“We all consume extra added sugar without realizing it, parents need to help monitor their kids added sugar intake by limiting how many condiments such as ketchup their kids use, soda intake, not keeping sweets on hand in the home,” says Cassie McGrath a graduate student studying nutrition at California State University, Sacramento. “It’s all about creating healthier choices such as fruit smoothies, milk, and dark chocolate as healthy alternatives.
The city of Sacramento Unified School District has already taken precautions to help limit kids intake consuming unhealthy sugar and carbohydrates. They created nutritional menu plans that portions out how much sugar, and carbohydrates they can consume throughout the week. The goal is to teach kids how to consume added sugar in moderation, which could help the community health in the future.
The American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, conducted a study in which they determined that children who follow the guidelines of seven key health factors reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and later heart complications.
- Abstaining from tobacco products
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Performing 60 minutes of moderate to severe cardiovascular exercise every day
- Eating a wholesome and nutritious diet
- Having a good cholesterol level
- Having a good blood sugar level
- Having a good blood glucose level
“Engaging in these ideal health behaviors early in life can have a tremendous benefit on maintaining ideal health throughout the lifespan,” said Julia Steinberger, Researcher at the University of Minnesota, in Circulation.
Studies from the journal found that a surprisingly high amount of children and teens failed to meet the standards for all or most of the seven key factors of healthy cardiovascular health.
The journal reveals a large discrepancy in the recommended amount of daily exercise also recorded, which is hardly complimented by the ninety-one percent of adolescents getting the majority of their daily calories from simple carbohydrates with little to no nutritional value, like processed foods and sugary beverages.
Virginia Tech University recently released a study finding that reducing one’s intake of sugary drinks by a factor of at least one a day provides numerous health benefits.
The detrimental calories not only increase one’s chances of weight gain, but also obesity and type two diabetes, both amounting to near epidemic numbers in America.
The California Soda Tax is just one example of community efforts to curb sugary drink consumption so as to prevent the mortal diseases associated with it.
Improve one’s diet can be the first step of Seven to reducing one’s risk of deadly diseases and improving children’s and adult’s health alike.