The PJ Tatler

CDC: Toddler Food Has Too Much Salt, Sugar

According to a new government study, packaged toddler food is laden with “worrisome” amounts of salt and sugar, “potentially creating an early taste for foods that may contribute to obesity and other health risks.”

About seven in 10 toddler dinners studied contained too much salt, and most cereal bars, breakfast pastries and snacks for infants and toddlers contained extra sugars, according to the study by researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They advise parents to read food labels carefully and select healthier choices.

Something called a breakfast pastry or cereal bar contains extra sugar? Ladies and gentlemen, your tax dollars at work.

This may not be good for your toddler to eat:

Fair Fare

The study analyzed the content of more than 1,000 foods marketed for infants and toddlers. According to another study, one in four children aged 2-5 are overweight or obese and 80 percent of kids aged 1-3 consume more than the recommended daily intake of salt.

“We also know that about one in nine children have blood pressure above the normal range for their age, and that sodium, excess sodium, is related to increased blood pressure,” said the CDC’s Mary Cogswell, the study’s lead author. “Blood pressure tracks from when children are young up through adolescence into when they’re adults. Eating foods which are high in sodium can set a child up for high blood pressure and later on for cardiovascular disease.”

The trade industry, always at the center of such taxpayer-subsidized nanny-state foodcentric witch-hunts, is not pleased with the study. The Grocery Manufacturers Association released a statement saying  the study “does not accurately reflect the wide range of healthy choices available in today’s marketplace … because it is based on 2012 data that does not reflect new products with reduced sodium levels.”

The study “could needlessly alarm and confuse busy parents as they strive to develop suitable meal options that their children will enjoy,” the group said.

The sodium and sugar content are already available on all packaged foods, in case someone is on the fence as to whether a product called a “breakfast pastry” contains excessive amounts of sugar.

Many foods in the study contained a high sugar content, defined as more than 35% of calorie content originating from sugar. “On average, sugar contributed 47 percent of calories for infant mixed grains and fruit; 66 percent of calories in dried fruit snacks, and more than 35 percent of calories in dairy-based desserts.”

Added sugars, including high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and glucose, raised concerns because they boost calorie totals without health benefits.

“It’s just additional calories that aren’t needed,” Cogswell said.