Australian Kids Overdosing On Added Sugar

Australian Kids Overdosing On Added Sugar

Too much sugar isn’t good for anyone, and that’s especially the case with sugar that’s added during manufacture (as opposed to occurring naturally in fruits and other foodstuffs). A new study suggests that more than half of all Australian kids get more than the recommended level of added sugar in their diet, with the figures rising dramatically as kids get older. Which foods are the biggest offenders?

World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend that no more than 10 per cent of your daily energy intake should come from added sugar. A study presented today at the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society conference found that 57 per cent of Australian kids exceeded this level. Higher figures are seen in other countries (such as the USA), but that’s hardly an excuse for the figures to be so bad.

Preliminary data from the study identifies these foods as the biggest culprits:

Soft drinks and flavoured water (not including cordials) 15%
Chocolate/chocolate based confectionary 7%
Cordials 7%
Other confectionary 7%
Sugar sprinkled on food, honey, syrups 6%
Breakfast cereals and cereal bars 6%
Frozen Milk Products 6%
Biscuits 5%
Yoghurt 4%

Eliminating soft drinks makes sense, but it’s only part of the ideal strategy. “Any added sugar is unnecessary calories when many people are overweight and obese,” points out Professor Peter Clifton from the Baker IDI heart and Diabetes Institute. “Clearly sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials are still a problem and need to be dramatically reduced as they have no other nutrients — just unwanted calories. Nevertheless, focusing just on sugar is misplaced as for many children pizzas, pies, white bread and fast food are more of a problem than sugar, so the whole diet needs attention.”


    • It may represent significance levels. So 1 star might indicate a 1 sigma significance level for the difference between the boys and girls, etc. See how when the level is similar (2-3y bracket), there is no star, while where there difference is large (14-16y bracket), there is 3 stars meaning that the difference is statistically significant.

    • It was on the Morning show today too so it must be true.

      Let’s be a bit real here. The problem isn’t that kids eat too much sugar it’s that parents LET them eat to much sugar.
      The stupidity of parents these days never ceases to surprise me.

      • As much as this is partially true, I also believe the manufacturers of these products are in part responsible.

        I am currently revising my (ridiculously shocking) diet to try and get back on a healthy run. I am the perfect weight, as I have a fast metabolism, so this isn’t a weight loss diet, merely a healthy diet.

        I’m having a hard time steering away from these products, as the alternatives aren’t always available, are often double the price, and aren’t always obvious.

    • Those stars are used in statistical analysis, in this case probably significance (its a way to apply the data to a wider population from a statistic than you can possibly access)

      btw, the more starts, the more significant the data is.

  • There’s a great app on Android called Food Switch and it scans food in the supermarket and suggests a healthier alternative based on salt, sugar, fats etc. It works with Aussie food!

    I presume there might be an iOS version.

    • Food Switch is a great app, I use it myself. The best thing about this app is that it’s specifically developed for Australia.

      Most (all?) of the other apps are focused on the US market and US products.

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