Health

Sugar in packaged foods fuels childhood obesity: ICMR

According to the ICMR-NIN, it is recommended that children limit their consumption of added sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calorie intake.

The Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN) has set guidelines to address the growing concern of childhood obesity and related health issues in India. These guidelines focus on the recommended intake of added sugars for children between the ages of 2 and 18.

ICMR-NIN Guidelines Aim to Combat Childhood Obesity Through Sugar Intake Limitations

According to the ICMR-NIN, it is recommended that children limit their consumption of added sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calorie intake. This includes all sources of added sugars, such as sugary drinks, sweets, desserts, and processed foods. Reducing sugar intake aims to promote healthier eating habits and reduce the risk of developing conditions like diabetes and heart disease later in life.

childhood obesity
Source: Earth.com

The guidelines emphasize the importance of a well balanced diet which includes various food items from different food catagories. In addition to limiting sugar intake, it is crucial to ensure that children consume adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. These foods give essential nutrients and contribute to overall health and well-being.

To help parents and guardians make well informed choices, the ICMR-NIN suggests paying close attention to food labels. Reading labels carefully can provide valuable information about the sugar content in different products. Knowing the various names for added sugars, such as sucrose, fructose, glucose, and corn syrup, is essential. Recognizing these terms makes it easier to identify products that may contain high amounts of added sugars.

While the guidelines specifically target children, it is important to note that that excessive sugar consumption may have adverse effects on people of all ages. Consuming too much sugar may lead to increase in weight gain, tooth decaying, and an elevate the risk of chronic diseases for e.g. obesity and type 2 diabetes.

childhood obesity
Source: The Indian Express

It is important to note that these guidelines serve as recommendations and should be considered alongside individual needs and preferences. Consulting with healthcare professionals, can provide personalized advice and guidance based on a child’s specific circumstances. The ICMR-NIN guidelines for sugar intake in children aim to promote healthier eating habits and limit the risk of obesity and related health concern by limiting the consumption of added sugars and focusing on a balanced diet.

You might also be interested in – Packaged food label claims can be misleading, ICMR warns

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