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American Heart Association releases new sugar intake recommendations for children

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The American Heart Association has released new guidelines for how much sugar children should consume.

The new recommendations say that children ages 2 to 18 should eat or drink less than six teaspoons of added sugars daily. Those guidelines are equivalent to about 100 calories or 25 grams of sugar.

Health officials say kids are consuming to much sugar which could lead to lifelong health concerns.

"Insulin resistance which we know is a precursor to diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, high blood pressure and that's our kids we're talking about those aren't kid problems but they have become those," said Annessa Chumbley, registered dietitian.

The expert panel involved in the study says added sugars should not be included at all in the diet of a child under the age of two. Added sugars are any sugars that contain fructose and honey or table sugar. Parents are encouraged to reach for more items like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products for more natural sugar.

This also covers sugary drinks. The recommendations allow kids to drink 8-ounces of sugar sweetened drinks a week. This is one of the hardest areas for parents.

"To me if you're struggling to limit the sugar sweetened beverages just as an example, have it with water. It's amazing what just a small step in just the course of the day can make a huge powerful impact in the course of a year," Chumbley said.

For more on those recommendations click here.