Parents Aren’t Always Good Judges of Their Kids’ Sugar Intake


by Beverly Thomassian, RN, MPH, CDE®, BC-ADM

At Diabetes Ed Services, we are passionate about getting the word out on sugar! We even created a “Joy of Six” campaign, to raise awareness on the health risks of added sugar and the benefits of enjoying less. This awareness is not only important to the diabetes community, but for anyone looking to lead a healthy lifestyle. 

A recent study was conducted in Germany that measured the correlation between a parent’s knowledge of sugar count in food and childhood obesity. Findings concluded that parents who underestimated the amount of sugar in common food products, were more likely to have an overweight child.

In the United States 18% of elementary school age children are obese.

It is almost impossible to monitor a child’s diet completely, particularly with cafeteria lunches and sleepovers. The cause of childhood obesity is complex but one thing is clear; too much added sugar and obesity are strongly correlated. 

The study suggests that parents can help children stay at a healthy weight by addressing their sugar consumption.

Start by setting a sugar goal for the family. The World Health Organization and American Heart Association recommend up to 6 teaspoons a day (or 24 gms) of added sugar. The entire family is encouraged to read labels, to stay on target and reduce added sugar consumption.

One strategy that can help, “parents (can) sweeten foods themselves. “Mix natural yogurt with fruit,” Dallacker says. “Parents who do this would hardly feel compelled to add 11 sugar cubes.”” 

Learn more – “Parents Aren’t Good Judges of Their Kids’ Sugar Intake” by The New York Times

Learn more about sugar intake, ways to avoid sugar and how to spot hidden high sugar offenders with our “The Joy of Six” resource page.

Download the Sugar Rush app from Fooducate to see how much sugar has been added to your food. Just scan the bar-code of any product and instantly see a breakdown of naturally occurring and added sugar.