Digital News Report – Eating sugar can put teens at a higher risk for heart disease according to a recent study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Eating foods high in sugar can cause high cholesterol which then can lead to higher risk for heart disease as an adult.
The researchers looked at data collected from The National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) of 2,157 teens ranging in age between 12 and 18 years. The average consumption per day of added sugar to food was 119 grams which is the equivalent of 28.3 teaspoons or 476 calories. This amounted to around 21.4 percent of their food intake for the day.
The sugar intake exceeds what the American Heart Association determine is acceptable for the teens. If a teenage girl energy requirement was 1,800 calories per day they should have no more that 100 calories that come from added sugar.
The teens that had reported eating the most added sugar each day had the worst cholesterol screenings. They tended to have lower levels of the high density lipoprotein (HDL) also known as “good” cholesterol. These teens had higher triglyceride levels and higher low density lipoproteins (LDL) “bad” cholesterol numbers.
The study author, Jean Welsh, MPH, PhD, R.N said that this is the first time that a study looked at the amount of added sugars and the risk for developing heart disease in teens. Welsh said that the a major source for the added sugars came in sodas, fruit drinks, coffee, and tea. She continued to explain that sugar does not provide adequate nutrients and Americans should also be as concerned with added sugars as they are about limiting saturated fats in their diet. One way she suggests to reducing sugar intake is to read the label to see if sugar was added, and replace them with reduced sugar products.
By Victoria Brown