Did you know that the average American child consumes more than nine times the recommended amount of added sugar?
The team at Victoria ER doesn’t just treat emergencies, we want to help prevent them, too. Education and community outreach is a key component in this mission, which made the Nazareth Academy Health Fair the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about excess sugar consumption. Keep reading to see how the day went!
The American Heart Association recommends that preschool-aged children shouldn’t consume more than 170 calories daily, or 4 teaspoons, of added sugar. For children aged 4-8, added sugar daily consumption shouldn’t exceed 130 calories, or 3 teaspoons.
Children entering into their pre-teen and teenager years shouldn’t have more than 5-8 teaspoons of added sugar, depending on weight and gender. The average American child consumes 9 times more added sugar than the recommended amount for their age.
“Prevention of serious health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, starts early,” said Sheila Kilgore, Marketing Director at VER. “It’s so important to instill healthy dietary and fitness habits in your children at an early age. The foods we eat help our bodies run, grow, walk, think and even fight off germs.”
Our team set up a booth at the fair to show the students how much sugar they consume on a daily basis and how much sugar is in some of their favorite snacks, like chips, sodas and gummy treats. The children learned how food is fuel for the body and that a well-balanced diet is critical to their growth and development.
“We want to teach the kids that a well-balanced, conscientious diet is the best way they can support their growth and development,” said Sheila. “It’s not always easy for children to understand how much sugar they’re consuming in a highly-processed snack, which is why health fairs, like this one, are crucial to their education.”
Research shows that dietary habits established in childhood follow us into adulthood and can drastically affect our health, which is why education on sugar consumption is essential. This is especially true as cases of pre-diabetes are skyrocketing among children and teenagers, and studies reveal that certain conditions, like heart disease, begin in childhood.
“The booth was very informative,” said Kelsey Schacher, a Nazareth Academy teacher. “Our students were shocked to learn how much sugar is in the foods they choose to eat everyday. Thank you for sharing with our students!”
To learn more about choosing healthy snacks, visit this page.
Did you attend the health fair? Let us know!
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