Your child probably eats his weight in sugar every year
Your child is probably consuming his or her weight in sugar a year, according to health officials in the United Kingdom.
The average four- to 10-year-old child eats the equivalent of 5,543 sugar cubes a year, which works out to 22 kilograms, Public Health England (PHE) officials said in a release.
That’s more than the average five-year-old, who weighs around 20kg (the average Canadian five-year-old weighs closer to 24kg, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society).
That high-sugar lifestyle is a problem, PHE’s Chief Nutritionist Alison Tedstone said in a news release.
“[It] can lead to painful tooth decay, weight gain and obesity, which can also affect children’s well-being as they are more likely to be bullied, have low self-esteem and miss school.”
Over-indulging in sugar has also been linked to the development of breast and lung cancer, according to a study published this week by the University of Texas.
Officials recommend kids aged four to six years old eat less than a third of that – 19g a day or around 7kg a year. Seven-year-olds are recommended to cap their sugar intake at 24g a day (8.75 kg a year); kids older than 11, at 30g a day (10.95 kg a year).
That’s still less than half what the average British kid is consuming now.
It’s not just kids, either: in March, 2015, the World Health Organization called on people of all ages to reduce sugar consumption to 10 per cent of their daily caloric intake, which they said works out to 25g a day.
Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation estimates that sugar makes up around 13% of the average Canadian’s daily diet – but that’s a “conservative” estimate. That works out to around 62.4g a day, or 22.8kg a year. Their recommendations are the same as WHO’s.
- As of 2015 the Canadian sugar industry directly employs 915 Canadians in four provinces: Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
- In 2014 Canada exported $437.7 million of sugar, including maple sugars and syrups. We imported almost double that, $836 million, most of which was unrefined cane sugar.
- India is the world’s largest sugar consumer and second-largest producer behind Brazil, which produces 36 million tonnes.
- The U.S. sugar industry spent $7.9 million on lobbying during the 2012 election. In 2014, it spent a record $9.6 million.
With files from Global’s Patricia Kozicka.