A major reason more than a third of American children are struggling with obesity is the copious amount of sugar they take in every day, with processed foods providing a significant share. That’s the opinion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that sugars made up 16.3 percent of boys’ calorie intake and 15.5 percent of that of girls. The CDC recommends that kids’ discretionary calorie intake be 15 percent or lower.
Citing CDC figures and recommendations, CBS News reports that all that extra sugar has been found to lead to increased risk of heart problems and high cholesterol in teens.
Processed foods and sugary drinks such as soda are among the chief ways kids inhale sugar, with 59 percent of excess sugar coming from foods and the rest from beverages. Snack foods including granola bars, cookies, candies and canned fruit are all responsible for sugaring up kids. It’s up to parents to monitor their kids’ food intake to protect them from a lifetime of food-related medical problems.