Teenagers who consume high sugar foods in their diets may be at an increased risk of heart disease later in life, says a new study.
The study showed that teens who consume elevated amounts of added sugars in drinks and foods are more likely to have poor cholesterol and triglyceride profiles, making them susceptible to heart diseases later.
And overweight or obese teens with the highest levels of added sugar intake had increased signs of insulin resistance.
"Adolescents are eating 20 per cent of their daily calories in sugars that provide few if any other nutrients," said Jean Welsh, at Emory University School of Medicine.
2,157 teenagers (ages 12 to 18) were studied; results found that the average daily consumption of added sugars was 119 grams (28.3 tsp. or 476 calories), accounting for 21.4 per cent of their total energy.
Teenagers with the highest levels of added sugar consumption at more than 30 per cent of total energy had 49.5 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL) compared to 54 mg/dL of HDL levels in those with the lowest levels of added sugar consumption — a 9 per cent difference.
Two days of dietary data were used among a subsample of 646 adolescents and the key findings remained consistent:
Those with higher intake of added sugar had higher LDL levels of 94.3 mg/dL compared to 86.7 in those with the lowest levels, a 9 per cent difference.
Triglyceride levels in those with the highest consumption were 79 mg/dL compared to 71.7 mg/dL among the lowest, a 10 per cent difference.
The study is published in the Jan. 10 online issue of the journal Circulation .