Newswise — Philadelphia (August 22, 2016) – Today, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a scientific statement supporting a relationship of added dietary sugars to cardiovascular disease risk in children, and recommending that children consume no more than 25 grams (~6 teaspoons) of added sugars per day – about half the current consumption of American children over the age of four.

In an invited commentary published on the AHA website, Monell Center developmental psychobiologist Julie Mennella, PhD and pediatric cardiologist Samuel S. Gidding, MD, from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children stress the need to better understand the biology of taste in children, who have a heightened proclivity for sweet taste, in order to successfully implement the AHA recommendation.

Mennella is available to discuss why children are especially vulnerable to sweet-tasting foods, as well as describe the huge knowledge gaps regarding effective ways to reduce added sugar consumption in children. Currently, there is no available evidence that demonstrates that children’s preference for sweet taste can be lowered.

She also can address how and why the use of non-nutritive sweeteners may teach children to expect and prefer sweet-tasting foods and beverages.

Mennella,, a world-renowned expert on pediatric taste, recently contributed a section on the development of taste and flavor preferences during early childhood for the World Health Organization Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Science and Evidence for Ending Childhood Obesity.

To arrange an interview, contact Monell Communications Director Leslie Stein at [email protected] or 267-519-4707.

The AHA Scientific Statement on Added Sugars and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children was published in the journal Circulation and is available at

The Commentary by Drs Gidding and Mennella, entitled “Has the World Become Too Sweet?” is available on the AHA website at

The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent nonprofit basic research institute based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For over 48 years, Monell has advanced scientific understanding of the mechanisms and functions of taste and smell to benefit human health and well-being. Using an interdisciplinary approach, scientists collaborate in the programmatic areas of sensation and perception; neuroscience and molecular biology; environmental and occupational health; nutrition and appetite; health and well-being; development, aging and regeneration; and chemical ecology and communication. For more information about Monell, visit