Infants at greatest risk of becoming addicted to sugar, research shows

Fastest-growing addiction in US is sugar

DETROIT – New research shows that infants are at an even greater risk than adults of becoming sugar addicts.

Shanita Henley works in housekeeping at the Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. She said she gets a midday Gatorade every day as a pick-me-up, but she was shocked at how much sugar is in the bottle.

It's also been the go-to drink for her son because she wants him to stay away from sugary soft drinks, soda and juice. She said she had no idea that in her effort to make a healthier choice, she was fooled by the hype without reading the label.

Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon, so her bottle of Gatorade contained a total of 8.5 teaspoons of sugar.

The fastest-growing addiction in the United States is sugar, and the age group most impacted is children between the ages of 6 months to 23 months, according to a study by an epidemiologist for the National Center for Health Statistics for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Banu Kumar, of the Children's Hospital of Michigan, said sugar is a particularly damaging to children because of the stress it places on the internal systems used in the growing process.

Pediatric nutritionist Sara Caskey said parents should start battling the problem by minimizing their child's appetite for artificial sugars.

When a child is consuming products, parents should pick those that have fiber over liquid form. Instead of apple juice, choose an apple. Instead of vitamin water, use homemade fruit-infused water.

You can watch Paula Tutman's full story in the video posted above.

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.