Consumer Reports: Is your kid eating too much sugar?

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Consumer Reports explains how to watch out for added sugars. (WLS)

We all know that sugar isn't a super food. But it is now coming to light that back in the 1960s, the sugar industry may have essentially paid off researchers to downplay health concerns associated with sugar -- and they worked hard to make fat, not sugar, the villain blamed for heart disease.

This may have influenced more than a half-century of misguided public-health advice. Consumer Reports explains how to watch out for added sugars.

When Marisol Lopez packs lunch for her kids, she tries to limit the sugar.

"So that is a big concern -- in their drinks, in their food, in their sweets -- how much sugar they get each day," Lopez said.

Sugar occurs naturally in many foods, including fruits, dairy and even some vegetables.

But health experts at Consumer Reports say the real cause for concern is added sugars. Particularly for children.

"Added sugar has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity and type two diabetes," said Patricia Calvo of Consumer Reports.

Kids should have less than 25 grams of added sugar per day. Which means one, 12-ounce Gatorade after a game is nearly a whole day's worth of sugar.

Added sugars can also lurk in surprising places -- including many foods that sound really healthy.

Starting your day with a steaming bowl of Nature's Path Organic Apple Cinnamon oatmeal? Or maybe Barbara's Vanilla Almond Morning Oat Crunch or Kellogg's Smart Start? All three have 14 grams of sugar in each serving, 40 percent more than you'd find in a serving of Fruit Loops.

You probably wouldn't put chocolate frosting on your morning toast -- but two tablespoons of Nutella actually have more sugar than two tablespoons of Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy chocolate frosting.

So choose wisely. And remember, everything in moderation.

Right now it's hard to figure out how much of the sugars in a food are 'added' from reading the Nutrition Facts label, because both natural and added sugars are lumped together.

But beginning in the summer of 2018, manufacturers will be required to separate them, listing both total and added sugars on food labels.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2014. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not for profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
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