A new study that found that a growing number of babies are hooked on candy! Experts say more than half of babies and toddlers eat chocolate and candy on a regular basis and their sweet tooth is causing more than just cavities. It’s putting them on the fast track for deadly conditions, like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease!

Researchers had 2,000 parents complete a questionnaire about their child’s eating habits. And here are their scary findings:

  • Half of parents gave their baby chocolate before they were even 1-year-old.

  • 61% of toddlers eat candy, cookies, or cake every single day.

  • A whopping 87% of parents don’t know what vitamins their child needs. And that’s especially dangerous because their growing bodies and minds need a ton of vitamins to properly develop. In fact, studies have shown that children with a poor diet are at risk of developing everything from learning disabilities to skin conditions and even motor development delays.

Researchers say a lot of young children become hooked on candy because their parents use it to bribe them. In fact, 1-out-of-every-3 parents bribe their kids with sweets to finish their vegetables, stop throwing a tantrum, or just sit still for 5 minutes. But doctors warn that it’s just a temporary fix – and a seriously bad long-term move. Because it’s basically rewarding your child for being a fussy eater or temperamental and wiring them to crave sweets. Over time, all that sugar, salt and fat wreaks havoc on their long-term health.

So, parents, if you want your child to grow up healthy – stop pushing sugar on them. And talk to their pediatrician about what they need nutritionally.