Parents advised to avoid giving infants sugary foods by federal dietary panel

The experts said that food given to children in their first 1,000 days of life "contribute to...
The experts said that food given to children in their first 1,000 days of life "contribute to long-term health" as well as "help shape taste preferences and food choices."(Source: CNN/WFTV)
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 5:38 AM CDT
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(Gray News) - A panel of experts with the Dietary Advisory Committee is warning parents with children under 2 years old to steer clear of foods with added sugar to avoid obesity and chronic health problems in later life.

The committee released its 2020 report Wednesday, which included the first recommendations it has ever created for toddlers and infants.

"Nutritional exposures during the first 1,000 days of life not only contribute to long-term health but also help shape taste preferences and food choices," the report read.

The group said sugar-sweetened items, including processed foods and drinks, may be related to a risk of childhood obesity and may set children up for eating more sugar later in life, potentially leading to chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.

The report also recommended breastfeeding before 4 months then beginning to introduce foods rich in iron and zinc in addition to polyunsaturated fatty acids. These foods include meats, fish, beans, nuts, whole grains and fortified cereals.

The committee will now send their report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. These agencies will use it to create the federal dietary guidelines that will dictate what Americans should eat over the next five years.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.